According to a United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection poll released Monday, an overwhelming majority of Americans want Congress and President Barack Obama to focus on job creation more than any other issue — including health care.
The poll finds that by more than a 3-1 margin, voters would be “very pleased” or “somewhat pleased,” if the president and Congress worked together to create more jobs, as opposed to “very disappointed” or “somewhat disappointed.” Surprisingly, voters expressed very little partisan variation on how they hope the president and lawmakers create more jobs; 75 percent say they would be “pleased” or “very pleased” if jobs were created by reducing taxes and regulation – generally a Republican position – and 77 percent said the same about increasing investment in infrastructure projects, which Democrats tend to favor.
The findings should serve as a wakeup call for congressional Republicans, who have dedicated a great amount of their time to attacking the Affordable Care Act and its troubled rollout, and now say there is little left for them to do anything else.
According to The New York Times, U.S. Representative Reid Ribble (R-WI) even claimed that his constituents would not “want me to be overaggressive in writing new laws.” The new poll suggests that his constituents would disagree.
Besides job creation, other issues important to voters include gun and immigration reforms. According to the poll, 74 percent would be happy if lawmakers approved a proposal to expand background checks for gun purchases; only 22 percent said they would be unhappy if the legislation passed. Support for the issue split among partisan lines with nearly 75 percent of Democrats saying they would be “very pleased” if the measure passed, while only 38 percent of Republicans said the same. Still, a majority of GOP voters, 66 percent, did say they would be “somewhat pleased” by the legislation.
Immigration reform also has a large amount of support from voters: 66 percent would be happy if Congress passed immigration reform, with only 29 percent saying they would “disappointed.” Even a majority of Republicans – 57 percent – “showed a willingness to accept the reform,” as opposed to the 25 percent who said they would feel “very disappointed.”
More alarming for the GOP is that the two least popular issues included reducing the federal deficit and repealing Obamacare – two top priorities for Republicans.
According to the poll, 54 percent of respondents said they would be pleased if the deficit was lowered by a combination of tax increases and spending cuts – the least amount of support expressed by respondents among all the issues – and 41 percent said they would be disappointed. Just 52 percent voiced support for repealing the new health care law, and 40 percent said they would be disappointed.
Still, although the split is narrow, even a small majority of Americans expressing support for repealing Obamacare might serve as a glimmer of hope for Republicans unwilling to let go of their fight against the law.
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