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Voters To Congress: Focus On Jobs And The Economy, Not Guns And Immigration

Once again, the priorities of Capitol Hill seeem to be out of step with those of voters:

Voters prioritize reducing gun violence and immigration reform far below other priorities Congress needs to tackle, according to a new poll.

Rather, the new Gallup Poll found that the top issue voters want Congress to tackle is creating more jobs and helping the economy grow. The poll found 86 percent said Congress should focus on job creation and 86 percent also said Congress should focus on improving the economy.

Of the twelve priorities listed in the poll, gun violence and immigration reform were at the bottom. Only 55 percent of those surveyed said reducing gun violence should be a top priority and a similar 50 percent said that Congress should focus on immigration reform.

Broken down by party affiliation, the poll found that slightly more Democrats prioritize creating more jobs than Republicans. Ninety percent of Democrats said creating more jobs should be Congress’s top priority. Meanwhile, 84 percent of Republicans said creating more jobs should be the top priority. On gun violence, 73 percent of Democrats said that should be Congress’s top priority while just 40 percent of Republicans said it should be the primary focus of Congress. For immigration reform, 44 percent of Democrats said reforming immigration should be the top priority while 55 percent of Republicans said it should be the top priority.

The poll also shows that Independents are more in line with Republicans on what Congress should prioritize on, with 85% saying that Congress should concentrate on creating jobs while 86% said Congress should concentrate on helping the economy grow. On the other hand, 40% said gun violence should be Congress’s top priority while 53% said reforming immigration should be a top priority.

Perhaps Congress should take this into account.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. edmondo says:

    Perhaps Congress should take this into account.

    Why? With the districts so gerrymandered, it’s not like they are going to be defeated if they ignore their constituents’ priorities.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  2. Rob in CT says:

    As we all know, “do something about the economy” means very different things to Dems and Reps. We all know that each parties plans are total non-starters with the other party. The standard Republican prescription is tax cuts for job creators and reduced regulatory oversight. The standard Democratic prescription is stimulus spending with a side of tax cuts/credits aimed at the poor/middle class. The distributional effects are 180 degrees from one another. The parties have sorted such that there is almost no chance of defectors.

    Given this, Congress can’t do anything about the economy. And, as edmondo notes, super-safe districts make it hard for the public to provide an overwhelming majority for one side, even if the public were inclined to do so.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  3. stonetools says:

    .

    The poll also shows that Independents are more in line with Republicans on what Congress should prioritize on, with 85% saying that Congress should concentrate on creating jobs while 86% said Congress should concentrate on helping the economy grow.

    Anyone who is interested in jobs and helping the economy grow should be voting for Democrats, since the President’s jobs bill was voted down by Republicans and the Republicans favor job-killing spending cuts.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 3

  4. Caj says:

    Jobs are number one right now but no way should the gun issue be forgotten. Jobs are critical, but so is the safety of the general public!! John Boehner kept asking where are the job? My question to him is, why didn’t Republicans sign off on President Obama’s jobs bill if they were/are so concerned over jobs???

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  5. @stonetools:

    Your partisanship is showing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 8

  6. stonetools says:

    @Rob in CT:

    The standard Republican prescription is tax cuts for job creators and reduced regulatory oversight. The standard Democratic prescription is stimulus spending with a side of tax cuts/credits aimed at the poor/middle class.

    This is why the debate over the failure of austerity economics is so important. We now know, to a scientific certainty, that the Republican program is a recipe for failure and continued economic stagnation, while the Democratic program, properly executed, will likely lead to economic growth and lower unemployment. Democratic politicians are just beginning to push back against Republican deficit hysteria:

    “Trying to just land on the debt too quickly would really harm the economy; I’m convinced of that,” Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) told Politico. “Jobs and growth should be No. 1. Economic growth is the best anti-deficit strategy.” In years past, centrist Democrats were among those most eager to reduce deficits, but now the winds are shifting and much of the president’s own party would object to anything that puts the economy at risk in the name of further deficit-slashing.

    If the economy continues to stagnate, expect this to be a major part of the 2014 political debate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  7. fred says:

    Yes, nothing is more important to most Americans than a job paying a living wage. GOP congress and yes, Pres Obama, seem to have forgotten this fact. Wall street and corporations keep raping our country and neither the President or congress/senate (most of them are millionaires anyway) seem to care or are doing anything about it…and yes, I voted for Pres Obama twice.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  8. stonetools says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Your partisanship is showing.

    Actually, what’s showing is my knowledge of economics and massive shift against pro-austerity programs in the economic and political debate.

    The era of austerity is over (for now)

    But something remarkable has happened in the last few weeks. It looks like world financial leaders are coming to that conclusion themselves, and reversing course. In my new book, I describe Iqaluit 2010 as the moment of the pivot toward austerity; some future book may well pinpoint Washington, 2013—that is, the IMF and World Bank spring meetings that ended a week ago—as a similar turning point in global economics

    The first substantive sentence in the communique following the meeting of the Group of 20 leading nations of the world on April 19 puts it succinctly: “We reaffirmed our determination to raise growth and create jobs.” No caveats, and surprisingly un-mealymouthed. That tone—of focusing on too few jobs instead of the risks from government debt and inflation—has been increasingly common in recent weeks.

    This isn’t really a partisan debate any longer. Its a debate about what works against what’s been proven wrong in both theory and practice.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  9. Rob in CT says:

    Doug,

    If one party is right (say, 80% right) and the other is dead wrong, perhaps we need some partisans.

    You seem to think your both sides do it approach is high-minded. You are incorrect, sir. It’s a copout.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  10. john personna says:

    Huh? The Republicans are dedicated to doing nothing, and giving “Obama” no victories, even if that means giving citizens across the land no victories.

    We are blocked by the Spoiler Party.

    It makes no difference how they rank the things they are not going to do anyway.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  11. john personna says:

    (I mean Geebus, are you for a “jobs bill” now Doug? Which one?)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  12. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @john personna: The one that keeps cutting the public sector, and includes statements in it stating that the government has never created a single job, of course. Oh, and tax cuts.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  13. Just goes to show how dumb “voters” are. What’s Congress going to do about jobs? What kind of half-witted Laissez-faire devotee wants Congress to do something about the economy?

    Congress can only destroy jobs and muck up the economy. No, focus on guns and immigration.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  14. Ben Wolf says:

    @stonetools: The President has been leading the charge for deficit reduction, and his jobs bill couldn’t even qualify as a joke. He has made very clear he does not care about unemployment.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  15. mantis says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Your partisanship is showing

    This is the best defense of Republicans Doug can come up with. He’s like David Brooks without the charm.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  16. Tyrell says:

    Exactly. Obama and Congress have completely ignored the common, middle class, working people. Yet these are the one that pay most of the taxes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  17. @Tyrell:

    Obama and Congress have completely ignored the common, middle class, working people.

    Huh….

    A few months ago it was “Obama won the election because he was so generous with his gifts for 47% of the population.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  18. stonetools says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    The President has been leading the charge for deficit reduction, and his jobs bill couldn’t even qualify as a joke. He has made very clear he does not care about unemployment.

    I find this ridiculous. Obama not only introduced the initial stimulus bill, he tried twice to pass a jobs bill in 2011. The Republicans voted it down twice.
    Could Obama have talked about unemployment more. Sure. But the reason we haven’t had more stimulus is because the REPUBLICANS have blocked it.
    This may surprise you, but Obama doesn’t have a magic power ring where he just vaporize Republican opposition if he wills it hard enough .

    Green Lantern Theory of Presidential Power

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  19. Tyrell says:

    @fred: Yes, and what about all that money that went to the banks to help people? Has anyone out there actually got help from a bank ? It is a joke, more politics.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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  22. bill says:

    economies go up and down, obama wasn’t blamed for any of the down yet he’s going to get credit when it finally goes up? of gun control! (if you can afford a 3D printer)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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