One of the interesting exit-polling factoids to come out of last night's GOP presidential primary in Michigan was that a bit more than half of voters were more interested in having the next president focus on cutting the deficit than focus on cutting taxes. (As if one precluded the other, but anyway....) Yet they voted for Mitt Romney rather than John McCain, whose domestic policy agenda is built around cutting government spending.
Now I tend to doubt whether most people differentiate among the current budget deficit, national debt, long-term entitlement funding problems, and the trade deficit. It all probably sounds like different slices of the same problem to the average person: a managerially inept and incompetent federal government that can't plan for a war, deal with natural disasters, or balance its books. That attitude may have helped give Romney the super CEO an edge over McCain the deficit hawk.