Taxing Wealthy Not a Top Priority for Either Obama or Romney Backers, Poll Finds

July 30, 2012 - 5:19 AM

(CNSNews.com) - Americans say job creation, eliminating government corruption, and reducing the federal budget deficit should be the top priorities for the next president, according to a July 19-22 Gallup Poll.

At the very bottom of the list -- increasing taxes on the wealthy and dealing with environmental concerns, such as global warming. In fact, those two issues were the lowest priorities for both Romney and Obama supporters, the poll found.

Gallup presented Americans with 12 issues and asked them to choose those that are extremely or very important to them: 92 percent of respondents said creating good jobs was extremely or very important; 87 percent said reducing corruption in the federal government; and 86 percent said reducing the federal budget deficit was extremely or very important.

In addition to those top-three priorities, Americans listed the following issues as extremely or very important, in descending order:

-- Dealing with terrorism (86%)
-- Ensuring the long-term stability of Social Security and Medicare (85%)
-- Improving public schools (83%)
-- Setting high moral standards for the nation (76%)
-- Overcoming political gridlock in Washington (76%)
-- Making health care available and affordable (74%)
-- Making college available and affordable (69%)
-- Dealing with environmental concerns (52%)
-- Taxing the wealthy (49%)

According to Gallup, 51 percent of Romney supporters said reducing the federal budget deficit is the top priority for the next president, slightly more important than job-creation (48%).

Among Obama supporters, 50 percent chose health care as the most important priority for the next president, followed by job creation (48%).

According to Gallup, it's clear that job creation remains a major campaign topic. And the poll indicates that both candidates will need to outline their plans for reducing the federal budget deficit.

"The candidate who Americans think has the better plans on each of these issues will have an advantage," the poll said. "As of now, Americans believe Romney is better able to handle jobs and the deficit than Obama is."

The poll noted that the presidential race remains a tight one, with voters evenly divided in their presidential preferences.