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7 Big Issues for American Voters in 2022

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American voters in the voting booth participating in the election at the polls
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Ahead of the congressional midterm election on Nov. 8, Gallup has identified some key issues voters have on their minds.

A new Gallup poll asked 1,009 American adults from across all 50 states and the District of Columbia to rate the importance of seven issues that could influence their vote this year.

For all of these issues, more than one-quarter of survey participants said they were “extremely important” — but some issues are clearly more important than others.

Here’s a look at what registered voters say is extremely important to them in this year’s congressional midterm election.

7. Climate change

people looking at water over road, rising sea levels, climate change
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Registered voters who said this issue will be “extremely important” to their congressional vote this year: 26%

In late September, Hurricane Ian killed more than 100 people across Florida, North Carolina and Virginia while causing $67 billion in damage. It likely remains on some voters’ minds, especially Democrat voters.

Gallup found that among Democrats, climate change ranks No. 2, with 49% of them saying the topic is extremely important to their 2022 congressional vote. However, among Independents and Republicans, climate change ranks last of the seven issues in this article.

6. Relations with Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin
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Registered voters who said this issue will be “extremely important” to their congressional vote this year: 31%

Vladimir Putin’s war against Ukraine has caused enormous death and displacement for its people — and significant economic damage for much of the world during the past eight months. The Federal Reserve estimated earlier this year that the conflict would reduce global gross domestic product (GDP) by 1.5% and raise global inflation by 1.3 percentage points.

It’s obvious to voters that inflation has risen by more than that this year, with one recent estimate finding American households are now losing $445 per month to inflation.

5. Immigration

Migrants from Columbia hoping to become American immigrants at the U.S. border with Mexico
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Registered voters who said this issue will be “extremely important” to their congressional vote this year: 37%

Earlier this year when Gallup asked whether immigration was the most important issue facing the U.S., just 5% of survey respondents agreed. Now, 63% of registered voters in the newer poll say it is “extremely” or “very” important.

4. Gun policy

Glock handgun
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Registered voters who said this issue will be “extremely important” to their congressional vote this year: 38%

The Robb Elementary School shooting that killed 19 children in Uvalde, Texas, this May was the second-most deadly grade school shooting in America and the deadliest mass shooting this year. Perhaps it’s no wonder two-thirds of voters consider gun policy very or extremely important when it comes to how they plan to vote.

The topic is slightly more important to Republican voters than those of other party affiliations, according to Gallup. Its poll found that gun policy ranked No. 3 among Republicans whereas it ranked No. 4 among both Democrats and Independents.

3. Crime

Car thief
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Registered voters who said this issue will be “extremely important” to their congressional vote this year: 40%

New data from the Pew Research Center corresponds with Gallup’s findings that crime is very important to voters. It also notes a potential reason why: “Both the FBI and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported a roughly 30% increase in the U.S. murder rate between 2019 and 2020,” Pew says.

2. Abortion

Pro-life and pro-choice abortion protesters
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Registered voters who said this issue will be “extremely important” to their congressional vote this year: 42%

A Supreme Court decision this summer took away the constitutional right to abortion that stood for nearly five decades, putting the matter in the hands of state governments.

Many Americans have strong opinions about that. In fact, Gallup found that the topic of abortion is of paramount importance to Democrats and ranked No. 2 among Independents. Among Republicans, it ranked No. 5 of the seven topics.

1. Economy

Man at gas pump
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Registered voters who said this issue will be “extremely important” to their congressional vote this year: 49%

The most important issue Gallup asked about for this election is clear — if broad. Nearly half of voters emphasize its extreme importance, and it’s the economy. Including the people who named it “very important,” 85% of registered votes say it will likely influence their vote.

“The economy” means many things to people and conceivably covers everything from inflation and recession fears to stock performance and employment, among others.

Your vote

Older worker
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It’s important to know how you’ll get your say in the way each of these topics, and others, are addressed. If you need to know about voting, including finding your polling place, visit USA.gov/election-office.

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