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Americans name government, Donald Trump as top problems

Staff Writer |
More than one in five U.S. adults cite dissatisfaction with the government and political leadership as the most important problem in the country.

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This is by far the problem U.S. adults most frequently mention, followed by healthcare, immigration and the economy.

Americans have often named government dissatisfaction as the top problem in the nation.

The current level of dissatisfaction with the government is the highest since October 2013 to January 2014, after the partial government shutdown that October.

The only other period during Gallup's polling history when a higher percentage of Americans cited government as the most important problem was in 1973 and 1974 during the Watergate crisis.

With a new presidential administration in office, the government has again emerged as the top problem in the country.

Much of the increase in dissatisfaction stems from negativity toward the president, as substantial percentages of Americans simply say "Donald Trump" when asked to name the most important problem facing the country.

Mentions of Trump were also common during the 2016 presidential campaign and were a reason why the election was typically among the highest-ranking problems last year.

With the debate over repealing the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, reaching a climax in Congress this past month, healthcare ranked as the second-most-important problem.

For the past six months, healthcare has ranged from 4% to 10% of all mentions.

Unifying the country (7%) is also notable, since it has spiked at various times in recent months, including measures of 6% in November after the election and 10% in February after Trump's inauguration.

Americans appear to be concerned about the divisiveness of politics today. Prior to last fall, no more than 3% of Americans had ever mentioned bringing the country together as the most important problem.

Notably, U.S. adults' citing of race relations/racism as the most important problem has been on the decline in recent months.

At 4% now, race relations was at a high of 18% nine months ago and was 10% as recently as January.

This may be due to a lack of high-profile incidents involving blacks nationwide, especially regarding contentious issues with police.


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