PRINCETON, NJ — Although both Republicans and Democrats name dysfunctional government, the economy, and unemployment as top problems facing the country today, they attach different importance to other issues. Republicans and Republican-leaning independents are significantly more likely than Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents to say that immigration and moral decline are top problems in the U.S., while Democrats are more likely to mention poverty and education.
The differences between partisan groups are most evident in terms of immigration, with an 11-percentage-point spread between Republicans (22%) and Democrats (11%) mentioning the issue. Two issues show a six-point gap in mentions between party groups, with Democrats more likely to mention poverty/hunger/homelessness and Republicans more likely to mention ethical decline.
These data are from an aggregated sample of 2,001 national adults interviewed in Gallup’s July and August Gallup Poll Social Series surveys. In those two months, immigration ranked near the top of the list after the wave of Central Americans illegally entering the country became a major national news story. Prior to July, immigration ranked much lower on the most important problem list.
Dissatisfaction With Government Based on Different Viewpoints
Dissatisfaction with government was Americans’ top-mentioned problem in both July and August, exceeding all other issues in public perceptions of the most important problem facing the country, although just slightly above mentions of immigration. Dissatisfaction with government appears to be germane to both Republicans and Democrats, ranking as the top issue for Democrats and second for Republicans, behind immigration.
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