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Economy ranks as US voters' biggest concern

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The current state and uncertain future of the US economy has emerged as one of the key concerns among American voters. With the unemployment percentage nearing double digits and national debt continuing to soar, Republicans have capitalized on attacking President Barack Obama's struggling attempt to revive the economy.

More than 80 percent of voters surveyed in a preliminary exit poll conducted by the Associated Press expressed their worry over the direction the economy will take next year.

However the majority said their family's financial situation was the same or better than two years ago.

The problem of long-term unemployment in the US has abated in recent months. But economists are wary of declaring this as a sign of renewed strength in the labor market.

Analysts say the jobless rate will remained at 9.6 percent, while non-farm payrolls will struggle to generate enough positions to keep up with the population growth.

October marked the 15th consecutive month of growth in the manufacturing sector, but the pace was still the slowest in almost a year.

Obama's stimulus package that was passed at a price tag of 787 billion US Dollars also attracted criticism from surveyed voters. Despite its massive cost, the package was dismissed by some economists as being too small to spur the economy back to solid growth.

Meanwhile, US national debt now tops 13 trillion US dollars. A Gallup poll conducted over summer shows that 40 percent of Americans consider national debt alongside terrorism as an "extremely serious" threat facing the country.

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