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Social Security, Jobs Top Economic Concerns

Ask people what economic issues will be important for the next president, and Democrats, Republicans and independents alike all put a high priority on protecting Social Security and reducing unemployment.

Beyond that, though, their lists of top economic concerns for the next president are more fractured, according to a poll conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Democrats prioritize narrowing the gap between rich and poor, reducing poverty and increasing wages to keep up with the cost of living far more than Republicans.

In turn, Republicans place far more importance on shrinking the federal deficit, reducing government regulation and reforming welfare.

So while Americans of all stripes consistently put the economy at or near the top of their lists of most important issues, they may have very different concerns in mind when they do so.

Overall, the AP-NORC poll found 85 percent of Americans think protecting the future of Social Security is extremely or very important for the next president and 81 percent said the same for reducing unemployment.