Most think deficit reduction priority, but not across ideological spectrum

When it came to the budget deficit, 84 percent of staunch conservatives called it a pressing concern, while just about one in three staunch liberals do. The disaffecteds (“downscale and cynical”), post-moderns (“moderates, but liberal on social issues”), new coalition Democrats (“upbeat, majority-minority) and hard-pressed Democrats (“religious, financially struggling) all came in around 50 percent on the question. 

The Pew poll, which tracked a wide range of attitudes and policy areas, comes right as Vice President Joe Biden is set to kick off a new round of bipartisan debt talks, starting Thursday at the Blair House. 

When it came to the budget, taxes and spending, the poll also digs into which economic issues are most worrisome to Americans (the job situation comes in first); the best method for reducing deficits (a combination of spending cuts and tax increases is the overwhelming favorite); and how President Obama and the GOP stack up on deficits (about half say they’re basically the same).