In NH, GOP voters' questions often omit jobs

January 9, 2012 - 4:36 AM
Republicans Debate

Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, speaks to members of the media after a Republican presidential debate at the Chubb Theater, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012, in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

WINDHAM, N.H. (AP) — Judging from the presidential forums being held all over New Hampshire ahead of Tuesday's Republican primary, the biggest threats to America appear to be online piracy, an insidious United Nations and "crony capitalism."

Voters rarely ask about employment, the issue that's supposed to dominate the 2012 elections. Iowa and New Hampshire — small, largely rural and overwhelmingly white — both have unemployment rates far below the national average of 8.5 percent.

In New Hampshire, which has no income tax or sales tax, the Republican presidential debate is deeply colored by issues that would leave many financially strapped Americans scratching their heads. That could give President Barack Obama's allies a chance to paint the GOP as out of touch with average Americans.