HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Crime, healthcare, education, the economy, COVID-19, immigration, Russia’s war in Ukraine, climate change, and childcare are all ongoing topics of conversation and issues that the United States continues to face.

A new WHTM/Emerson College Polling/The Hill poll shows that 38.2% of Pennsylvania voters think the economy (jobs, inflation, taxes) is the most important issue facing the United States.

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TheHill reported this week that the economy faces mounting threats from the war in Ukraine and a COVID-19 surge in China, which could impact inflation even more.

The high gas prices both nationally and at the state level are also a concern for Americans.

The poll was conducted from March 26-28, 2022, interviewing 1,069 Pennsylvanians with a margin of error (MOE) of +/- 3 percentage points.

Political Party:

Among Democratic voters, 28.3% said the economy is the number one issue, but healthcare was only 4% behind (24.6%). However, Republican voters had a much larger gap between those who felt the economy is the number one (49%) and the next most important one, immigration, which had 15% of the votes.

Receiving the least number of voters was COVID-19 for Republicans (2.9%) and immigration for Democrats (2%).

Republican state lawmakers have been vocal the past two years about their dislike for the COVID-19 regulations and mandates and have criticized how Governor Tom Wolf and the Department of Health have handled the last two years.

Nationally, the Republican-controlled Senate just recently voted 57-40 to nix a requirement to wear masks on transportation as the country rolls back coronavirus rules and restrictions.

Other issues low on the list of issues for both parties include education, Russia’s war in Ukraine, and crime.

Gender/Ethnicity

Among Hispanic or Latino voters, White voters, and African American voters, the economy is the number one issue. However, 41.9% of Asian voters said healthcare is the number one issue.

Male and female voters saw similar percentages across the board of issues. The top issue for both genders was the economy with 36.1% of male voters and 40.3% of female voters. The least number of female voters chose COVID-19 as the top issue and the least number of males chose crime as the number one issue.

Age/Education Level

While the economy is the number one issue for the 30-49, 50-64, and 65 and older age groups, healthcare takes the top spot for 18 to 29-year-olds (33.6%) with the economy as a close second (28.1%).

For all three of the older age groups, healthcare is second, but with a larger gap between the two. Less than 10% of each age group believed the war in Ukraine or education is a top issue.

All education levels agreed that the economy is the number one issue, with healthcare coming in second.

Who did you vote for

The highest percentage of those who voted for President Biden in the 2020 general election believe that healthcare is the top issue (27.9%) with the economy as a close second (23.3%).

Those who voted for former President Donald Trump, however, had 52.7% say the economy is the top issue and immigration is the second highest with only 8.9%.

While COVID-19 came in last for Republicans in the political party breakdown, education saw the least number of Trump voters. Biden voters, however, had a similar outcome to the party breakdown with immigration receiving the least number of votes.

A percentage of voters chose “something else” as their most important in each breakdown. When asked to name the issue, the voters listed: big government corruption, election fraud, theft freedoms, childcare, climate change, the environment, foreign influence on politicians, lying, the Biden administration, voting rights, and white supremacy groups.

Polling methodology

The WHTM/Emerson College Polling/The Hill Pennsylvania poll was conducted from March 26-28, 2022. The general election sample consisted of registered voters in Pennsylvania, n=1,069 with a Credibility Interval (CI) similar to a poll’s margin of error (MOE) of +/- 3 percentage points. The Republican primary sample consisted of likely voters, n=372, with a Credibility Interval (CI) similar to a poll’s margin of error (MOE) of +/-5.0 percentage points. The Democratic primary sample consisted of likely voters, n=471, with a Credibility Interval (CI) similar to a poll’s margin of error (MOE) of +/-4.5 percentage points.

The data sets were weighted by gender, age, education, race, and region based on 2020 turnout modeling. It is important to remember that subsets based on gender, age, party breakdown, ethnicity, and region carry with them higher margins of error, as the sample size is reduced.

Data was collected using a cellphone sample of SMS-to-web, an online panel provided by Amazon MTurk, and an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system of landlines.

The full poll can be reviewed here.