Nearly a quarter of Americans say the government is the nation’s top problem, according to a new Gallup poll.
Compared to last year’s reading, the amount of people who cite the government as the biggest problem Americans are facing rose 6 points to 21%.
Amid ongoing high prices, inflation remains the second most pressing concern, with 15% citing it. Illegal immigration crept up 3 percentage points to 11% as tensions over the U.S.-Mexico border remain elevated.
Concerns over the economy in general fell 6 points to 10%, the lowest reading in a year.
The poll’s field period included the four-day, 15-round vote in the House of Representatives, which ultimately saw Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., elected as Speaker of the House.
Classified documents from 2009 to 2017 also were discovered at President Joe Biden’s private office and Wilmington, Delaware, home while the poll was being conducted.
Despite government being the top problem for a larger share of Americans, job approval numbers for Biden and Congress remained flat at 41% and 21%, respectively.
Republicans and Democrats, as well as independents who lean in either party’s direction, ranked the government as the country’s biggest problem, with 24% of Republicans and right-leaning independents and 18% of Democrats and left-leaning independents listing Washington as the top concern.
Inflation and immigration were each cited by 18% of Republicans, while 11% of Democrats expressed concerns about inflation. Nine percent of Democrats said the economy in general was the most important U.S. problem, mirrored by the 9% who said the issue of race relations was the most pressing concern.
Gallup found that Democrats are more likely than Republicans to see unifying the country and the environment as top problems.
More than four in five U.S. adults rate the present economic conditions as only fair, with 45% saying the current conditions are poor. Few describe the conditions as excellent (2%) or good (15%). Additionally, 72% of Americans say they economy is getting worse, while 22% say it is improving and 4% think it is staying the same.
The latest Economic Confidence Index (ECI) reading of minus-39 is the same as last month, according to Gallup, but well above the minus-58 measured last June and the record low of minus-72 recorded in October 2008, during the Great Recession. The ECI score has been negative since July 2021, when inflation was on the rise.
The ECI summarizes responses to the current economic conditions and outlook items and has a theoretical range of plus-100 (all respondents say the economy is excellent or good and that it is getting better) to minus-100 (if all say it is poor and getting worse).
Americans are positive about the job market, with 64% saying now is a good time to find a quality job. That figure is statistically unchanged from last month, but is 8 points lower than the January 2022 reading, according to Gallup.
The poll was conducted Jan. 2-22 and surveyed 1,011 U.S. adults. The margin of error is plus/minus 4 percentage points.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.