Poll: Deficit, spending no longer top voter issues

The federal deficit and government spending figure less prominently in voters’ decisions this year than in 2010, according to an NBC New/Wall Street Journal poll released Wednesday.

Seven percent of respondents said those two issues are the deciding factor in their vote for Congress this November, the survey found. In the 2010 midterm elections, by contrast, 13 percent said the deficit and spending were the key issues driving their votes.

The issue has largely faded from the campaign trail with few candidates promoting their fiscal platforms.

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This year’s survey found job creation and economic growth tied with breaking partisan gridlock in Washington as voters' top issues, with 23 percent stating each of those positions.

Likewise, jobs and the economy were also at the top of voters’ lists in 2010, with 36 percent reporting that was the issue pushing them to the polls. 

More than half of the public, meanwhile, said this year they disapprove of the way President Obama has been handling the economy. Voters polled at the same time in 2010 felt similarly, the poll indicated. 

Over the next year, more than a quarter said the economy will improve and 46 percent said it will stay about the same. Less than a quarter said they think the economy will get worse.  

The survey indicated voters would narrowly prefer Republicans in control of Congress, with 46 percent backing a GOP majority and 44 percent supporting a Democratic majority.

The poll surveyed 1,000 registered voters from Oct. 8-12 with a 3 percentage point margin of error.