If you asked most pollsters on Election Day what the No. 1 issue of the midterms was, it’s likely that they would say the economy. But has this changed throughout the months leading up to the midterms?

The Deseret News previously analyzed the function and limitations of polls. Polls measure public opinion at a static point in time and have a margin of errors. They can change — even dramatically — as public opinion changes and decisions are made.

With that in mind, let’s take a look back at what polls have said the American public said was the top issue of the midterm election.

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April 2022: CNBC reported that more than half of women over the age of 50 said that they were concerned about the economy. PBS reported that its polling data suggested that the economy was the No. 1 issue for voters and an expert also added that the then-impending decision from the Supreme Court on abortion could have an impact on voters.

May 2022: Monmouth University conducted a poll measuring what American voters considered the most important issue. The economy was the top concern, clocking in at 26%, while abortion was the second most important issue at 25%. In a poll that measured the top problems of Americans, Pew Research found that inflation was listed as the top issue, with affordability of healthcare and violent crime as the next most prioritized issues.

June 2022: Fox News reported that polls showed the economy was the leading issue in the midterms. Even though both parties support federal access to abortion, Fox News reported that abortion was only the top issue for 15% of voters. According to ABC 7 News, an ABC News/Ipsos poll showed that the top issues for voters were the economy, inflation and gas prices.

July 2022: Northeastern University published expert opinion on previous polls and said that while some voters might be thinking about Jan. 6, the economy typically is the biggest issue for voters. Following the release of the Dobbs decision, CNN provided analysis on polling trends and said that abortion was seen as extremely important by more than half of registered voters, but even more voters were concerned about the economy. They said that abortion had become a more important issue even before the draft leaked, but that concerns about the economy, cost of living, crime and inflation outpaced concerns about abortion rights.

August 2022: Gallup reported that polling data showed that even though the economy and inflation were the top concerns, American voters considered abortion one of the most important issues. The Hill reported that for younger voters, abortion rights was a higher concern than for older voters, according to polling from Data for Progress.

September 2022: According to Gallup, polling data showed at this point that the most important issues for the midterms were the economy and inflation.

October 2022: In a New York Times/Siena poll, the economy was the top issue for voters.

November 2022: CNN reported that in the week leading up to the midterms, the economy remained the top priority for voters on both sides of the aisle while Democrats were also concerned about abortion rights and Republicans were also concerned about inflation. According to NPR, inflation was considered the most important issue among voters with preserving democracy as the second most important issue among a plurality of sampled voters.

Given the trends of these polls, it seems that the economy has consistently remained the highest priority issue for American voters. This isn’t particularly surprising because it’s typically one of the most important — if not the most important — issue for voters.

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From the time of the draft leak to a month after the Dobbs decision, it seems that voters’ concerns about abortion also rose. This also isn’t surprising given that the majority of the country supports some access to abortion, but also worth noting that the 2022 American Family Survey shows that the majority of Americans are more moderate on abortion. Jennifer Graham wrote for the Deseret News, “According to new findings from the American Family Survey, the majority of Americans — about 86% — express varied and nuanced positions about abortion that rarely surface amid partisan rhetoric.”

It’s likely that the economy remained stable as the No. 1 issue for American voters because it typically is that way and because the cost of living is rising in America right now as inflation also rises.