The first challenges President Obama should tackle are jobs, gas, health care, and the deficit, based on a poll of Americans who voted on November 4.

These findings come out of a survey from Democracy Corps/Campaign for America’s Future survey of voters on November 4th and 5th, 2008, conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research.

For context, note that Democracy Corps was founded in 1999 by James Carville and Stanley Greenberg as a free public opinion research firm focused on, in their words, “a more responsive Congress and Presidency.”

This poll looked deep into McCain and Obama voters’ intentions to examine their priorities. These were strikingly different:

For Obama voters, the top three reasons voters selected their candidate were Iraq, tax cuts for the middle class, and affordable health care for all (with investing in education a close fourth to health).

For McCain voters, the top three reasons for supporting their candidate were a strong commander-in-chief, drilling for oil and energy independence, and a tie for third-place: supported surge and no Iraq retreat, and picking Sarah Palin as his running mate.

In retrospect, then, the Presidential race was a battle between Middle Class Economics and Security and Strength.

Here’s a fascinating number: 29%. That’s the percentage of Republican voters who chose McCain because he picked Sarah Palin as his running mate. And 29% of Democrats picked Obama to focus on affordable health care for all.

Health Populi’s Hot Points: Based on the above, you may conclude that this poll demonstrates the the schism between Obama’ites and McCain supporters. But more important, there is consensus in several key policy areas to bring Americans together: energy independence (although there will be differences between emphasis on “drill, baby, drill” and alternative source investments); ending the war in Iraq “responsibly;” and, to be sure, addressing health care (managing costs for both camps, and access more among Obama supporters).

With layoffs abounding — American Express at 10,000, DHL (part of the German Deutsche Post, announcing 8,000 cuts), Whirlpool (5,000), Motorola (having already laid off 4,888 earlier in 2008 and now announcing another 3,000), AMD (500), Circuit City (over 7,000, or 17% of its workforce), Mattel (8% of the global workforce, about 1,000 jobs), Pepsi (3,300), Goldman Sachs (3,200 employees, or 10% of staff), Citigroup (2.6% of workers = 9,100), Xerox (3,000 worldwide), TIME Inc. (600), countless retailers (such as Ann Taylor and Talbots), among others — the immediate mantra is jobs, baby, jobs.