Job Creation, Government Corruption Are Top Election Issues, Poll Finds

Americans care most about job creation and reducing government corruption, according to a USA Today/Gallup poll released Monday, with backers of President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney splitting on the importance of other issues.

Jobs and the economy have remained at the top of many voters' minds throughout the year, the poll found. Ninety-two percent of adults polled said "creating good jobs" should be an "extremely important" or "very important" priority for the next president, outstripping any other issue.

Reducing corruption in the federal government was extremely or very important to 87 percent of adults, although a much smaller number -- 13 percent -- called it the country's "most important" problem in a Gallup poll conducted earlier this month. Reducing the federal budget deficit and addressing international threats such as terrorism were also at the top of voters' lists. Focusing on environmental concerns like global warming and increasing taxes on the wealthy ranked lowest, polling respectively at 52 and 49 percent.

Some conservatives, including the Washington Examiner's Byron York, are pointing to the poll as evidence that Mitt Romney's focus on economic issues and reducing government corruption makes him more in touch with the electorate than Obama, while the liberal American Prospect argues that Obama has also made job creation the touchstone of his campaign.

Supporters of both candidates were concerned about creating jobs and combating corruption, but had otherwise different priorities. Health care was the top issue for Obama supporters, with half calling the issue extremely important. The president's backers also prioritized maintaining Social Security and Medicare. In contrast, the top issue among Romney's supporters was the federal deficit. Raising taxes on the wealthy polled last among both groups.

The survey was conducted using live telephone interviews of 1,030 adults between July 19 and 22. It has a 4 percent margin of error.

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