When Barack Obama took office four years ago, reducing the budget deficit was a middle-tier item on the public’s agenda. Only about half of Americans (53%) viewed it as a top policy priority in January 2009, placing it ninth on a list of 20 policy goals.
But as Obama begins his second term, only the economy and jobs are viewed as more important priorities for the coming year. Currently, 72% say that reducing the budget deficit should be a top priority, up 19 points from four years ago. (Click here for a graphic of the public’s 2013 priorities).
The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Jan. 9-13, 2013 among 1,502 adults, finds that Americans continue to view other domestic initiatives as important priorities as well, despite their focus on the deficit. Growing numbers give high priority to dealing with education, the problems of the poor, crime and the environment.
Read the full report, Deficit Reduction Rises on Public’s Agenda, on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press website.