Poll: Voters Say Job Creation Is Priority 1

But Congress and the president are focusing on deficit reduction instead.

By SHARE
President Barack Obama walks past Marine One and heads to the Oval Office at the White House in Washington on March 15, 2013.

Here's more evidence of why Americans are sour on official Washington: 64 percent of the voters want President Obama and Congress to make job creation their Number One priority, according to the latest Marist/Morning Joe Poll, and only 33 percent say that reducing the federal deficit should be at the top of the agenda.

This indicates that Washington's priorities are out of kilter, since deficit reduction has dominated the debate in the capital so far this year.

"Closing the budget deficit may be the driving force in Washington, but the jobs picture is the public's main concern," says Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.

[READ: Analyst: Obama Needs Liberal Economic Agenda to Preserve Support]

The breakdown among voters by party affiliation is stark. Seventy-six percent of Democrats say job creation should be Washington's first priority, but 51 percent of Republicans say deficit reduction should be the focus. Sixty percent of independent voters want the president and Congress to focus first on job creation.

President Barack Obama walks past Marine One and heads to the Oval Office at the White House in Washington on March 15, 2013.

Many polls find that few Americans give Congress a favorable rating, and Obama's rating, while better than the legislators', has also begun to slip.

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  • Ken Walsh covers the White House and politics for U.S. News. He writes the daily blog "Ken Walsh's Washington" for usnews.com, and is the author of "The Presidency" column for the U.S. News Weekly. He can be reached at kwalsh@usnews.com, and followed on Facebook and Twitter.