New polling data reveals that voters in Iowa and New Hampshire overwhelmingly believe the federal budget deficit is the most important economic issue facing the United States today.

Despite the nation’s persistent high unemployment rate, voters in the two early-voting states chose the deficit by wide margins. The CNN/Time/ORC poll was conducted before and after Christmas with 999 registered Republicans in Iowa and a total of 1,508 adults in New Hampshire.

The results, released Wednesday, paint a clear picture about what voters are thinking about heading into 2012. They also send a message to lawmakers in Washington about the need to fix the debt, cut spending and restore prosperity.

Economic issues trumped national security and moral issues each state. Voters were then asked this question with the choices randomized: “And, thinking specifically about the economy, which of the following is the most important economic issue facing the country today?” Here’s the breakdown: