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Republicans and Democrats place differing emphases on the importance of the candidates' positions on climate change, the treatment of minority groups and the size and scope of government. Additionally, Democrats put more emphasis on a variety of other social and income equality issues, while Republicans put greater emphasis on certain national security and fiscal issues.
Despite these differences, Republicans and Democrats are united on their top priorities: the economy, jobs, healthcare, national defense and education. These issues represent a common denominator for the electorate that should make it easy for the candidates to know where to focus their attention this year. The candidates' ability to convince Americans that they have a plan or the skill to solve these problems could go a long way toward enhancing their appeal to a broad base of voters.