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January 08, 2019

*-- Americans say education, health care should be top priorities for Congress, Trump --*

Top5 Education, health care, the economy and social security all ranked at the top of the list of what Americans believe should be Congress and the White House's top priorities, according to a new Gallup survey released Wednesday.

Eighty percent of more Americans surveyed said that the four topics were either extremely or very important for the Congress and White House to work on, led by education with 87 percent. Health care policies and the economy followed at 85 percent with social security register as a top priority with 80 percent.

One of the biggest gainers in the survey was income and wealth distribution, which was mentioned by 62 percent of the participants as a top priority.

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"While most of the priorities remained stable, those saying education is extremely important was up (42 percent) compared with the last time the question was asked in 2014 (26 percent)," Gallup said in a statement. "However, one noticeable shift took place at the very bottom of the priority list -- the issue of income and wealth distribution.

"Although it ranked lower than traditional issues, such as dealing with the federal budget deficit and immigration, the majority of Americans who see income distribution as important for leaders to deal with reflects how it has become a major issue of focus not only in the United States, but also other developed economies," the statement continued.

The poll results were based on landline and cell phone interviews conducted Dec. 3 through 12, in a random sample of 1,025 adults, ages 18-and-older living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. Gallup said the survey has a 95 percent confidence level.

Other issues that ranked high as extremely/very important included the federal deficit (76 percent), immigration (75 percent), drug abuse (75 percent), national infrastructure (72 percent), trade and tariffs (71 percent), gun policies (66 percent), and climate change (62 percent).

Many are expecting Republican President Donald Trump to bump heads with the newly elected Democrats-led House of Representatives when the new Congress takes over. The poll suggested that the topics in current polls give them plenty to work on together.

A December Gallup poll said that Trump's approval rating has averaged 39 percent since he's taken office, proving more stable over the first two years than many of the previous presidents.

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