(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Americans are down and out when it comes to the state of their own pocketbooks, and it's the issue that is most likely to drive the outcome of the election in November.
A new USA Today/Gallup Poll shows 55% of those surveyed say their families are worse off financially than they were just one year ago. That's the highest number who have felt that way since the poll first asked this question more than 30 years ago. It's also an increase of 11 percentage points since February.
The poll found anxiety about the economy is everywhere, among all groups of people. Two-thirds of those who make less than $30,000 say they are worse off than a year ago, but so do almost half of those making more than $75,000. The only major group of people who say they're better off are, surprise, Republicans.
One of the oldest and most reliable rules of politics is when the economy is bad, that makes for an appetite for change. And history suggests the fight over who can best improve the economy and change things is what will decide this election.
It's pretty simple really. When voters are downbeat about their financial situation, they turn against the party that's in the White House. That's what happened in 1976, 1980 and 1992. Not a good sign for John McCain and the Republicans.
Also, polls show Barack Obama getting much higher marks on the economy than John McCain. My guess is the election will not be decided by whether someone is willing to meet with Iran.
Here’s my question to you: How will your personal financial situation affect your vote in November?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Lee from Minnesota writes:
It has already affected me. I gave 6 years to the U.S. Army and another 33 years to government services and I have just about drained what I have. Oh, my wife just got laid off 3 weeks ago. The country cannot afford any resemblance of the past 8 years. I am booting the Republicans out of the White House until they will support you and me instead of the rich and corporate America.
David from Massachusetts writes:
While the financial state of the country does concern me greatly, there's a more important issue: I don't want to see my brother or any of his brothers-in-arms be sent off to Iraq again. Every soldier and every military family has sacrificed more than enough for this desert disaster.
My money has nothing to do with my vote. I am not going to vote for an "unknown". What little I know about Obama, I don't like.
Keith from San Francisco writes:
If McCain wins, I'll be rich. If Obama wins, I'll be happy.
Matt from Minneapolis, Minnesota writes:
Tax hikes, no matter who they are on, have never benefited the economy. Vindictive tax hikes on those who invest and those who are rich aren’t going to help. A tax hike to make Social Security solvent won't help. For those who want Obama, remember tax hikes and increased government regulation hurt the economy. I'm not rich and I'm not an investor, but at least I realize the big picture.
I am a Republican, a veteran and a single mother. Times are terrible and I will vote for Obama. I am sorry that the Republican Party has put all good Americans in such hard times and I will not support them.
As gas prices soar, I will walk to the polls if necessary to cast my vote for a real and needed change in leadership for our country. We are running on empty in that regard.