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Poll: Many Want Congress to Focus on Jobs, not Health Care

CBS News Poll analysis by the CBS News Polling Unit: Sarah Dutton, Jennifer De Pinto, Fred Backus and Anthony Salvanto.


House Republicans may be focused on fulfilling their campaign promise to work to overturn the health care reform law, but a new CBS News/New York Times survey finds that a plurality of Americans prefer they focus instead on creating jobs.

The poll finds forty-three percent of Americans believe the most important thing for the new Congress to focus on is job creation - compared to just 18 percent who say the top priority should be health care. Fourteen percent chose the federal budget deficit, 12 percent the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and seven percent illegal immigration. Respondents were presented with a list of options.

The poll also found that a majority of Americans polled - 56 percent - do not believe the health care bill's impact on themselves and their families has been clearly explained. Only 41 percent say it has been explained somewhat or very well, including just one in ten who say it has been explained very well.

Republicans have sought to tie their effort to repeal the health care law to the issue of jobs, labeling the legislation passed last year "job-killing" and "job-destroying." Democrats have used Republican endeavors to overturn the law as a second opportunity to sell the law to the American people after falling short in their first attempt.

This report covers an early release of a pair of questions from the survey. The full poll will be released at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time.


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This poll was conducted among a random sample of 1,036 adults nationwide, interviewed by telephone January 15 - 19, 2010. Phone numbers were dialed from RDD samples of both standard land-lines and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups is higher.

This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

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