At first blush, an elected representative might rejoice after learning that 2014 was the first year since 2008 that the economy wasn’t the American public’s biggest concern, according to a Gallup Poll released Friday. After a closer look, however, they’d be shaken to see that Government and Politicians replaced the economy at the top spot as the most important problem facing the U.S.
Results from the poll read, “Complaints about government leadership — including President Barack Obama, the Republicans in Congress and general political conflict — led the list, at 18 percent. This was closely followed by mentions of the economy in general (17%), unemployment or jobs (15%) and healthcare (10%).”
Over the last five years, the government category has slowly risen on Americans’ list of concerns, up from fourth in 2007, then to third in 2011, second in 2013, and finally first in 2014.
The year-long survey included responses from 12,000 adults. The economy continues to rank high on the list at 17 percent and unemployment ranked third at 15 percent. Health care has remained relatively constant since 2011 as the number 4 concern Americans have, whereas immigration (8 percent) is trending back toward its 2006 high of 10 percent.
Since the consensus on America’s most pressing issue remains relatively dispersed, there’s an opportunity for one issue to claim center stage in the coming year. Whether or not government itself will hold its top spot as the most important problem facing the U.S. in 2015 is up in the air. It will fall largely on the hands of Congress to see that it doesn’t.
Photo: Cool Revolution