As the midterm elections approach, health care ranks as the top issue, mentionedmore frequently among voters nationwide than among those living inareas with competitive races, a new poll finds.

In areas with competitive congressional or gubernatorial races,the economy and jobs ranked as the top issue for candidates todiscuss, with 34 percent of registered voters listing it as No. 1,according to the poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation. (Kaiser Health Newsis an editorially independent program of the foundation.) Followingeconomics was the conflict with North Korea (23 percent),immigration (22 percent) and health care (21 percent). Thecompetitive areas are 13 states with statewide races and 19 Housedistricts judged as toss-ups by the nonpartisan Cook PoliticalReport.

Nationwide, 29 percent of registered voters ranked health careas the most important issue for electoral discussion — though it was far moreimportant for Democrats than Republicans. Economy and jobs wereclose behind with 27 percent of voters rating it most important,and then immigration, with 24 percent listing it.

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