Americans Say Government and Politicians Are Bigger Problems than Illegal Immigration, Health Care, Disaster Response and Federal Debt

By Terence P. Jeffrey | July 15, 2010 | 12:41 PM EDT

President Barack Obama delivers a televised address on the Gulf oil spill on Tuesday, June 15, 2010. He accused BP of "recklessness" in the first Oval Office address of his presidency and swore not to rest until the company has paid for the damage it has caused to lives, businesses and shorelines. (AP Photo/APTN)

( - Americans now believe that government and politicians are bigger problems for the country than illegal immigration, health care, disaster response or even the federal debt.

In a poll released yesterday, Gallup asked Americans: “What do you think is the most important problem facing this country today?”
Not surprisingly, the most common answers focused on pocket-book issues. Thirty-one percent said they believed the economy in general was the most important problem facing the country, and 22 percent said it was unemployment and jobs.

The next most common answer was “Dissatisfaction with government/Congress/politicians; poor leadership; corruption; abuse of power.” Eleven percent of respondents said this was the most important problem facing the country.

"The only non-economic issue that 10 percent or more of Americans mention is dissatisfaction with government and politicians (11 percent),” says Gallup’s analysis of the poll.
Although illegal immigration, the government’s response to the Gulf oil spill, and the federal budget deficit and national debt have been major news stories in recent weeks, poll respondents did not rank them as highly as government and politicians when asked about the most important problems facing the country.  Seven percent respectively ranked illegal immigration, health care, and disaster response as the most important problems facing the country, and six percent said it was the federal budget deficit or the federal debt.

Gallup conducted the survey from July 8-11. For the full Gallup poll results go here.