• The economy is the top issue among whites and Hispanics while Blacks are more concerned about healthcare
  • 82% of Blacks, 63% of Hispanics and 49% of whites cited the coronavirus outbreak as the top issue
  • Women were more concerned about abortion than men

U.S. voters are more concerned about the economy than any other issue, with healthcare coming in second and the coronavirus a distant fourth, a Pew Research Center study indicated Wednesday

With the presidential election 13 days away, nearly three-quarters of voters (74%) said they are most concerned about the economy, with more supporters of President Donald Trump (84%) than supporters of Democratic presidential rival Joe Biden (66%) ranking economic issues first.

The results come amid a wave of optimism from economists, who warned in August of a possible double-dip recession, reducing that probability to 20%.

However, chances of agreement on the next round of coronavirus stimulus was slipping ahead of Election Day as COVID-19 infection rates and deaths were rising. More than 8.3 million Americans have been infected with the virus and more than 221,000 have died since March.

Sixty-five percent of the 10,059 people queried by Pew Oct. 6-12 said they were concerned about healthcare, followed by 63% who said Supreme Court appointments were their top issue and 55% who cited coronavirus. Fifty-one percent said their top concern was foreign policy and 44% cited abortion.

The greatest divide among Republicans and Democrats was over coronavirus. Democrats were more concerned than Republicans, 82% vs. 24%. Concern among Republicans has fallen 15 points since August while concern among Democrats has remained steady. Movement on the other issues was relatively static.

The study was conducted after Trump named Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court but before her confirmation hearing. The Senate is due to vote on her nomination Monday.

Women were much more likely than men to cite abortion as a top issue, 51% vs. 36%.

“The wide gender gap among registered voters on the importance of abortion is evident among both Trump and Biden supporters. Among Trump supporters, 54% of women and 41% of men consider abortion a very important voting issue. Among Biden supporters, women also are more likely than men to view this issue as very important [50% of women, 31% of men],” Pew said.

Women also were much more concerned about healthcare than men, 71% vs. 59%.

Racially, Blacks and Hispanics were more concerned about the economy than whites, 81% to 80% to 73%, respectively. Healthcare was the top issue among Blacks (86%) followed by coronavirus (82%) and the economy. For Hispanics, the top issue was the economy, followed by healthcare (70%) and coronavirus (63%). Whites saw the top issue as the economy followed by healthcare (61%) and Supreme Court appointments (60%).