Government No.1 problem for US in 2015: Gallup

Washington, Jan 5 (IANS) For the second consecutive year, Americans’ dissatisfaction with the US government edged out economy as the country’s top problem in 2015, a poll analysis by the Gallup showed.

Sixteen percent of Americans see government (including Congress and politicians) as the nation’s top problem in 2015, compared with economy at 13 percent, and unemployment and immigration, both at eight percent, according to Monday’s analysis based on the monthly measure of the most important problems facing the US in the past year.

The number of Americans rating government as No. 1 problem facing the nation increased by two percentage points from 2014; while the number of Americans regarding economy as top issue decreased by four percentage points.

Notably, 2015 was the first year since 2007 in which immigration was regarded by Americans as one of the top four most frequently cited problems.

Healthcare was regarded by six percent of Americans as the top problem facing the nation.

Other issues in the top 10 list of problems averaging five percent, included ethical/moral decline, race relations/racism, terrorism, the federal budget deficit or debt, and education.

Mentions of terrorism averaged just five percent in the past year, despite the massive terrorist attacks in Paris in November, and the San Bernardino shooting in which two individuals killed 14 people and injured 21 others in early December.

Another issue that briefly spiked as a concern in 2015 was gun control, with mentions rising from near one percent in most months to seven percent in October and December following mass shootings.

The year 2015 marked only the second time since 2001 that no single issue averaged 20 percent or more for the year, Gallup said.

The lack of a prominent public concern in 2015 “provides an interesting setup to the 2016 presidential election,” said Gallup.

This contrasted with the last three presidential election cycles when at least one issue commanded significant public attention in the year prior to the election.

In 2011, the dominant issues were the economy and unemployment; in 2007 the Iraq War; and in 2003 the economy.

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