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American Public’s Top Priorities

- January 26, 2010

The Pew Research Center has a “new report out on the US Public’s Top Priorities”:http://people-press.org/reports/pdf/584.pdf. Here is the headline finding:

Pew_Priorities_2010_01.gif

Healthcare and helping the poor (a clear component of health care reform, if one not often discussed) are still thought of as a top priority by a majority of the population, but it is clear that they are not at the top of the list. Nor are energy and global warming, another of the Obama administration’s top domestic priorities. Interestingly, though, tax cuts, a big theme of the “tea-party”:http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/26/us/politics/26teaparty.html?partner=rss&emc=rss movement, are also near the bottom of this list. Deficit reduction, however, is in the top half of the list, although, it should be noted, deficit reduction is far below concern over the economy and jobs, the top two items on this list.

How might these figures filter into actual policy making in the year to come? On the one hand, as “I pointed out previously”:https://themonkeycage.org/2010/01/the_effect_of_the_ma_special_e_1.html, the Democrats still clearly have the votes to do whatever they would like (for the most part) for the rest of 2010. As has been pointed out repeatedly (see in particular John Stewart’s excellent take on this a few nights ago), Obama still has more votes in the House and the Senate that George W. Bush ever had, and Bush certainly managed to advance elements of his legislative agenda. On the other hand, one thing Democrats in congress will want to do is get re-elected, so one can only imagine that close attention will be paid to these numbers. Exhibit one: “The State of the Union Address”:http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0110/31989.html?