Americans start the new year with a variety of national concerns on their minds.
Although none is dominant, the government, at 21%, leads the list of what Americans consider the most important problem facing the country.
Gallup reports that “the economy closely follows at 18%, and then unemployment/jobs and healthcare, each at 16%. No other issue is mentioned by as much as 10% of the public; however, the federal budget deficit or debt comes close, at 8%.
“Americans’ current telling of the top problems facing the country comes from a Jan. 5-8 Gallup poll. The rank order is similar to what Gallup found in December, although the percentage mentioning unemployment has risen four percentage points to 16%.
“Mentions of the government as the top problem remain higher than they were prior to the partial government shutdown in October. During the shutdown, the percentage naming the government as the top problem doubled to 33% from 16% in September.
“Compared with a year ago, mentions of government are up slightly. Mentions of healthcare, on the other hand, have quadrupled — from 4% in January 2013 to 16% today, likely related to highly visible problems with the rollout of the 2010 healthcare law. At the same time, references to the federal deficit or debt have declined from 20% to 8%, while mentions of the economy in general have dipped from 21% to 18%, and mentions of unemployment/jobs are the same, at 16%. Continue reading “Government tops Americans’ list of “problems””
Don’t believe the pundits.
For the sixth consecutive year, Barack Obama ranks as the Most Admired Man among Americans, and Hillary Clinton is again the Most Admired Woman. The Gallup Poll organization reports that for 2103 both won by comfortable margins.
“Sixteen percent named Obama, compared with 4% each for former
President George W. Bush and Pope Francis; Clinton (15%) finished ahead of television personality Oprah Winfrey (6%), first lady Michelle Obama (5%), and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (5%).
“Each year, Gallup asks Americans to name, in an open-ended format, the man and woman living anywhere in the world they admire most. This year’s poll was conducted Dec. 5-8. Obama has won Gallup’s Most Admired Man designation each year since 2008, the year he was elected president. However, similar to his declining job approval rating this year, the percentage naming him fell to 16% from 30% in 2012. The remainder of the top 10 Most Admired men includes three former presidents (Bush, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter) and two religious leaders (the Rev. Billy Graham and Pope Francis). The sitting pope has finished in the top 10 each year since 1977. In addition to Pope Francis, actor, director, and political activist Clint Eastwood and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz finished in the top 10 for the first time. This year’s poll was conducted at the time of South African human rights leader Nelson Mandela’s death. The widespread news coverage of his death helped make him top of mind for many Americans, and 7% named him as Most Admired Man. However, because the question wording specifically asks for the name of a living man or woman, Gallup does not rank deceased figures who are mentioned. Hillary Clinton has been named Most Admired Woman a total of 18 times, more than any other woman in Gallup’s history, including each of the last 12 years. Clinton first won the distinction in 1993, when she was first lady, and has continued to rank at or near the top of the list while serving in a variety of public roles including as U.S. senator and as secretary of state. The 15% naming her this year is down from 21% last year and is the lowest figure for her since 2006. Continue reading “Barack and Hillary win again in 2013”
Economic issues dominate Americans’ concerns about the nation’s future, according to the latest Gallup Poll. ” Americans say the economy (17%) is their greatest worry or concern for the future of the United States, followed by the federal debt (11%). Five percent or more also mention jobs and international wars and conflicts.
These findings, collected June 20-24, indicate that Americans think economic issues will be the biggest concern for the future, even as the economy shows some positive signs of recovery.
Americans’ concerns for the nation’s future are generally similar to their current worries. In a separate Gallup poll conducted June 1-4, Americans said the economy is the most important problem facing the country today, followed by jobs or unemployment.
After economic issues, Americans frequently mention war and conflicts in other countries as their top worry, with 5% saying so. Americans’ involvement in the civil war in Syria and recent escalating tension with North Koreaare likely driving this concern.
Healthcare or cost of healthcare and losing freedom or civil liberties also rank toward the top of the list of Americans’ concerns for the nation’s future, likely reflecting Americans’ worries about the impact of theAffordable Care Act and disapproval of the federal government’s surveillance of Internet and telephone communication. Fewer mention terrorism — which the federal government cites as the reason for its surveillance of communications — with 1% saying it is their greatest concern.
Republicans and Republican leaners are as likely as Democrats and Democratic leaners to mention the economy as their biggest worry for the future. However, Republicans are much more likely than Democrats to say the federal debt is their top concern, 15% vs. 6%. Slightly more Democrats than Republicans mention jobs and wars as their greatest worry.
More at: http://www.gallup.com/poll/163298/americans-say-economy-top-worry-nation-future.aspx?utm_source=tagrss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=syndication
Having an affair is one of the most immoral things you can do, according to a new Gallup poll. A survey of 1,535 American adults found that 91 percent considered extramarital infidelity to be morally wrong, a higher percentage than objected to human cloning, suicide, and polygamy. As The Atlantic discussed the new findings: “The poll aside, it’s difficult to think of any other relatively common and technically legal (adulterous affairs are no longer subject to criminal sanction) practice of which more of us disapprove.
“While this same poll showed growing acceptance of divorce, pre-marital sex, and having babies out of wedlock, the 91 percent disapproval rate for cheating is nearly twice what it was 40 years ago, when similar surveys showed that only half of American adults believed that having an affair was always wrong. As political scientist John Sidesnotes in a recent detailed analysis of changing attitudes towards adultery, “Americans, and especially better educated Americans, have become less accepting of adultery with the passage of time.” Pointing out the simultaneously growing acceptance for ending an unhappy union, Sides summarizes what he sees as our contemporary attitude: “If you’re in an unhappy marriage, don’t cheat. Just get divorced.” Continue reading “Americans think infidelity is worse than … anything”
About six in 10 Americans believe that money and wealth should be more evenly distributed among a larger percentage of the people in the U.S., while one-third think the current distribution is fair, reports the Gallup Organization today.
“Although Americans’ attitudes on this topic have fluctuated somewhat over time, the current sentiment is virtually the same as when Gallup first asked this question in 1984. Slightly fewer have favored a more even distribution since October 2008.
“The range in the percentage saying wealth should be “more evenly distributed” has been relatively narrow over time, from a low of 56% in 2000 to a high of 68% in April 2008.
“Gallup has asked the question at least once during the administration of three Republican presidents — Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush — and two Democrats, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. But there is no generally consistent pattern across these administrations. For example, the slightly lower percentage favoring a more even distribution during the Obama administration started in the final year of George W. Bush’s administration — after the onset of the financial crisis. Continue reading “Majority favor wealth redistribution”
Seven in 10 Americans say they would vote “for” raising the minimum wage to $9 per hour if given the opportunity, while 27% would vote against such a bill, reports Gallup. “The proposal, made by President Barack Obama in his 2013 State of the Union speech, is backed by over 90% of Democrats and self-described liberals, and by over two-thirds of independents and moderates. Republicans are evenly split on the proposal, while conservatives tilt slightly in favor. Continue reading “Support for raising minimum wage”
Eighty-eight percent of Americans say preventing future acts of international terrorism should be a very important foreign policy goal of the U.S., top among nine issues, reports the Gallup organization.
“Americans also give a high priority to preventing the spread of nuclear weapons and to securing adequate energy supplies for the U.S. Americans are less likely to see promoting economic development in other countries and helping other countries to build democracies as very important U.S. foreign policy goals. Continue reading “Americans still fear terrorism”
According to Gallup’s most recent poll of self-identifying LGBT people, the percentage of U.S. adults who say they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender ranges from 1.7% in North Dakota to 5.1% in Hawaii and 10% in the District of Columbia, according to surveys conducted from June-December 2012.
No qualification was given as to the validity of the survey methodology. Statistically quantifying the LGBT population is subjective. And since the days of Kinsey homosexuality and heterosexuality have been viewed on a continuum rather than a binary scale. Studies like the recent Gallup poll pointing to the statistics are estimates at best. That said, the most widely accepted statistic is that one in every ten individuals is LGBT, with gender identification located on a separate spectrum. Continue reading “Gallup’s latest LGBT poll”
The U.S. is often described as a nation of immigrants. And it seems most Americans are finally remembering that basic fact.
At least two-thirds of Americans favor each of five specific measures designed to address immigration issues — ranging from 68% who would vote for increased government spending on security measures and enforcement at U.S. borders, to 85% who would vote for a requirement that employers verify the immigration status of all new hires, reports the Gallup Organization today.
“More than seven in 10 would vote for a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants now living in this country. Slightly more than seven in 10 favor a law that would track the departures of foreigners who have come into the country and one that would increase the number of visas for immigrants with science and technology skills. Continue reading “Massive support for immigration reform”
Once again our friends at Gallup have confirmed that the U.S. population really can’t make up its mind. This time the popular polling organization reports that about equal numbers of people think that corporations and government are okay, with opinion dividing predictably along party lines. As Gallup states:
“Americans continue to be worried about the effects of big companies and big government, with 35% saying they are very or somewhat satisfied with the size and influence of major corporations, and 36% saying they are very or somewhat satisfied with the size and power of the federal government. Both of these levels of satisfaction are up slightly from the last two years, but significantly below satisfaction levels recorded in the early years of the last decade, when satisfaction with government was generally higher than satisfaction with major corporations.
“These findings are from Gallup’s Jan. 7-10, 2013, Mood of the Nation survey. Continue reading “Americans divided about corporations and government”
Last year the “rise of the nones” made headlines, as pollsters noted significant increases in the number of Americans who checked “no religion” on surveys. As the Gallup organization today summarized:
“The percentage of American adults who have no explicit religious identification averaged 17.8% in 2012, up from 14.6% in 2008 — but only slightly higher than the 17.5% in 2011. The 2011 to 2012 uptick in religious ‘nones’ is the smallest such year-to-year increase over the past five years of Gallup Daily tracking of religion in America.”
Apparently the number of nones continues to grow, but recent data show the increases are beginning to plateau. To measure the phenomenon, Gallup asked: “What is your religious preference — are you Protestant, Roman Catholic, Mormon, Jewish, Muslim, another religion, or no religion? (If respondent names ‘another religion,’ ask:) Would that be a Christian religion or is it not a Christian religion? Religious ‘nones’ are those who respond ’no religion’ as well as those who say they don’t know or refuse to answer. Continue reading ““Nones” still growing, but more slowly”
American polling is a funny business, especially at a time when that nation seems unable to make up its mind on just about anything.
Today the Gallup organization reported that Americans have no idea whether their children will be better off in the future or not. According to Gallup,
“Americans are evenly divided about whether it is likely (49%) or unlikely (50%) that the next generation of youth in the country will have a better life than their parents. That is a slightly more positive assessment than in early 2011, when the slight majority, 55%, thought it was unlikely the next generation would achieve this goal.
“Still, views today remain depressed compared with 2008 Continue reading “Better life for the kids? Who knows?”
Public opinion polls became a huge focus in 2012, thanks in large part to the data-aggregating of Nate Silver. It should come as not surprise then that 2103 would start out with organizations like Gallup making headlines.Just released is Gallup’s most recent
survey of “optimism” about the coming year. Oddly, while many in the U.S. have no confidence that the economy will improve, a significant majority (69%) think that life will improve for themselves and their families. Only 27% expressed pessimism. As Gallup states:
“As is usually the case, Americans are much more positive when asked to reflect on their own personal situation than when asked about the broader situation across the country. Gallup previously reported on Americans’ negativity about the prospects for the U.S. economy and the international situation in 2013. Continue reading “Americans are oddly optimistic”
These days the Pew Research Center has been doing more than polling voters. In a new study, Pew reports a precipitous drop in the number of Americans who identify as “religious.” In a report entitled “”Nones” on the Rise,” Pew finds that “one-fifth of the U.S. public – and a third of adults under 30 – are religiously unaffiliated today, the highest percentages ever in Pew Research Center polling. In the last five years alone, the unaffiliated have increased from just over 15% to just under 20% of all U.S. adults. Their ranks now include more than 13 million self-described atheists and agnostics (nearly 6% of the U.S. public), as well as nearly 33 million people who say they have no particular religious affiliation (14%). This large and growing group of Americans is less religious than the public at large on many conventional measures, including frequency of attendance at religious services and the degree of importance they attach to religion in their lives. Continue reading “One in five Americans now “non-religious””