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Poll finds Iraq, terrorism top issues with voters

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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Iraq and terrorism top the list of issues that Americans consider "extremely important" as the country heads into the November 7 mid-term elections, a CNN telephone poll released Wednesday found.

Nearly half -- 49 percent -- said they consider Iraq "extremely important" in deciding how to vote. Terrorism followed closely, with 46 percent, in the poll conducted for CNN by Opinion Research Corp.

The third most important issue was ethics in government, which 37 percent of respondents said they considered important. The nuclear standoff with North Korea was cited by 35 percent. (Read the entire poll)

The economy and the price of gas dropped in importance, with 62 percent of Americans saying the economy is in good shape and the price of gas ranking as the seventh most critical issue for voters. That's up from 44 percent who said in August they were concerned about those issues. (Issues by the numbers)

Wednesday's poll showed the number of people concerned about the economy dropped from 40 percent in August to 33 percent.

Thirty-three percent said they'll cast their ballot partly in accord with how they perceive the war in Afghanistan is going.

Taxes, immigration and moral issues, such as the legalization of same-sex marriage and stem cell research, were at the bottom of the list. Little more than a quarter of those polled felt like those subjects would sway them.

The poll included 873 registered voters, 472 of whom identified themselves as Democrats or leaning Democrat, and 401 who said said they are Republican or leaning Republican. The poll was conducted Friday through Sunday.

The poll has a sampling error of 3 percentage points.

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