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Poll: Americans unenthusiastic about Obama campaign priorities

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Byron York

In a new Gallup poll, Americans rank President Obama’s campaign goals low on the list of priorities the next president should pursue in office.

In the poll, Gallup listed a dozen policy goals and asked, “How important a priority should each of the following issues be for the next president — extremely important, very important, somewhat important, or not that important?”  The issues, which Gallup researchers listed in random order, were: Improving the nation’s public schools; Reducing the federal budget deficit; Dealing with environmental concerns such as global warming; Creating good jobs; Overcoming political gridlock in Washington; Ensuring the long-term stability of Social Security and Medicare; Reducing corruption in the federal government; Increasing taxes on wealthy Americans; Making college education available and affordable; Dealing with terrorism and other international threats; Setting high moral standards for the nation; and Making health care available and affordable.

The top priority for the largest number of Americans was creating good jobs, which was named extremely important or very important by 92 percent of respondents.  The next? Reducing corruption in the federal government, which was called extremely or very important by 87 percent.  The third most important issue was reducing the federal budget deficit, at 86 percent.

What issues fell farther down on the scale of importance? President Obama’s top domestic agenda item, increasing taxes on wealthy Americans, came in at the bottom of the list, called extremely or very important by just 49 percent of those polled by Gallup.  Dealing with environmental concerns such as global warming was next-to-last, at 52 percent. Making college education available and affordable, a priority Obama often stresses is stump speeches, was third-to-last, at 69 percent. And making healthcare available and affordable was fifth-to-last, at 74 percent.

The point is not that any of the goals listed by Gallup is insignificant.  The point is that Americans prioritize what they want their political leaders to do, and right now, the things that are on top of the voters’ list — creating jobs, reducing corruption, and cutting the deficit — are issues that Mitt Romney and Republicans in Congress have been stressing every day.  And the goals the president has been stressing are simply not at the top of voters’ concerns.

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