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Government most important problems in U.S.

Staff Writer |
Americans cited the U.S. government itself as the most important problem facing the U.S. this month (20%).

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This is down five percentage points from June, but still elevated amid the tension between the Trump White House and Congress.

The "government" category of responses includes many mentions of President Donald Trump, specifically, as the country's top problem, as well the Democratic Party, government gridlock and politics in general.

These findings are from an Aug. 2-6 Gallup poll.

Mentions of racism/race relations as the most important problem were at 7% this month, up from 4% in July.

Yet mentions about the economy continued to drop, at only 6% in August.

Immigration, a contentious issue throughout the presidential campaign and into the Trump presidency, held at 7%.

Before the latest escalation in souring relations between the U.S. and North Korea on Tuesday, 4% of Americans named North Korea as the most important problem.

The war of words between Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un has been ratcheting up with North Korea recently declaring it has the capability to attack the U.S. and threatening to attack U.S. military installations on Guam.

Trump on Tuesday warned the nation that these threats could be met with U.S. "fire and fury."

Government as the most important problem may be down from June, but mentions of it are still higher than was true for much of 2016.

The highest percent mentioning government in the past five years was in October 2013 during the partial shutdown of the federal government.

Factors that may have an impact on this choice include the Senate failing to pass a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Congress passing sanctions against Russia over meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Democrats (27%) are more likely than Republicans (15%) to say the government is the nation's top problem, however both figures are down slightly from 31% and 24% in June, respectively.

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