Americans see need for more jobs... and coffee

President Barack Obama reacts to an excited scream from a group of girls at Jack's Coffee January 7, 2008 in New London, N.H.

Jeremy Hobson: Tomorrow, we'll get a reading on job creation for the month of July from the Labor Department, and whether it's a good or bad report, it's sure to have impact on the presidential race.

Which brings us to Attitude Check, our weekly partnership with the polling firm Gallup. Frank Newport is editor-in-chief at Gallup and he joins us now. Good morning.

Frank Newport: Good morning.

Hobson: So you know, we've heard about foreign policy, immigration -- all kinds of things -- from the candidates. What is the number one concern of Americans at this point?

Newport: Well, this may come as no great shock, but it is: Creating good jobs. At least, that's what we found when we gave Americans a long list recently and said, "How important should each of these be as a priority for the next president?" And at the very bottom of the list, by the way, was increasing taxes on wealthy Americans.

Hobson: And when it comes to job creation, do Americans have a sense of what either candidate would do and which they'd prefer?

Newport: That's a great question, and we said: Aha! We'll ask the public that, because, particularly Mitt Romney, he hasn't been in the public sphere nationally (he's been in Massachusetts). So we said, do they even understand what he or Obama would do? And in terms of understand very well -- no. Only 29 percent of Americans say they have a very good understanding of what Obama would do; 21 percent a very good understanding of what Romney would do to create jobs if they're re-elected or elected next November.

However, you've got another 30, 39 percent who say they have a somewhat good understanding. So it depends upon how you look at it. But in terms of a full understanding of what they would do, it's a low number.

Hobson: All right, well, before we let you go Frank, I hear you've got some new polling data regarding coffee...

Newport: Ah! What percent of Americans drink coffee? What would you guess?

Hobson: Oh, probably 99.5.

Newport: That's because you're up in the morning. It's actually just 64 percent drink at least one cup a day. And you know, we had asked that same question back in 1999 and it was 63 percent. So despite the proliferation of Starbucks and coffee houses everywhere in America, we're really not drinking anymore coffee than we used to. The average coffee drinker, by the way, drinks 2.5 cups of coffee a day -- how's that for a number?

Hobson: That sounds good. Have you had your 2.5 cups yet today?

Newport: Not yet. I've had about 0.8 of a cup so far this morning, but so as I'm out of here I'll go finish up my 2.5 of the day.

Hobson: Excellent. Frank Newport, editor-in-chief at Gallup. Thanks a lot.

Newport: My pleasure.

About the author

Frank Newport, Ph.D., is the editor-in-chief at Gallup and appears regularly on Marketplace.

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