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Poll: Concerns Over Government Leadership Surpass Economy For First Time

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A recent Gallup Poll revealed that the largest concern among Americans in 2014 was poor government leadership, which topped concern over the economy for the first time in Gallup’s polling history.

The poll, which was published on Friday, found that in 2014, there were four main issues that generated the greatest amount of public concern: government leadership, the economy, unemployment, and healthcare.

According to Gallup, this poll was conducted as a part of the monthly Gallup Poll Social Series, which surveys a random sample of “approximately 1,000 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.”

18% of the Americans surveyed felt that government leadership, related to both President Obama and the Republicans in Congress, was the most important problem in the United States. Complaints about the economy were voiced by 17%, followed by unemployment by 15%, and healthcare by 10%.

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Following the top four complaints, 8% of Americans chose immigration, 6% named the federal budget deficit, and 5% listed ethical or moral decline as the largest issues in the country. According to Gallup, this was the “first time since 2001 that no single issue averaged 20% or more for the year.”

Gallup noted that there was uneven attention given to the issues throughout the year, with mentions of unemployment “consistently higher in the first half of 2014 than later in the year,” and mentions of race relations sparking from the average 2% to 13% in December.

Gallup found that, not only was 2014 the “first year since 2007 that the economy was not the top ranking issue,” it was also the “first year ever in Gallup records that dissatisfaction with government topped the list.”

Of the top five issues that most concerned Americans in 2014, the economy and unemployment are significantly less dominant than they were even two years ago,” noted Gallup. “At the same time, concerns about government and immigration have been mounting, while concerns about healthcare have consistently simmered at a moderately high level since 2009.”

Gallup stated that the lack of Americans’ ability to “converge on a single pressing concern” in 2014, the way they had in the past, could have implications on the 2016 presidential elections, and “could make candidates’ task of honing a message for the election more complex.

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