Gallup Poll: Republicans See Immigration, Morals as Top US Problems

Saturday, 23 Aug 2014 01:23 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Republicans believe immigration and moral decline top the nation's main problems, but Democrats say the most pressing issues are poverty and education, a new Gallup Poll shows.

However, there are common concerns with both parties when it comes to the naming the nation's worse problem, revealed the poll of 2,001 adults, conducted on July 7-10 and Aug. 7-10.

The No. 1 problem, respondents from both sides agreed, is the nation's divided, dysfunctional government. Both sides also mentioned the economy, healthcare reform, and unemployment.

Meanwhile, there is plenty of blame to go around for the nation's ills, respondents from both parties say, although they don't agree on where to point fingers. Democrats say Congress is at fault for the nation's dysfunctional government, specifically in the House of Representatives, where they say the controlling party places the blame on President Barack Obama and his lack of leadership.

Republicans surveyed did blame Obama and his poor leadership for the country's problems, the poll showed.

The poll is important as it could determine voters' reactions to candidates this fall, Gallup said, and could also affect how members of Congress prioritize issues.

The differences were widest between the groups when it came to immigration, with 22 percent of Republicans mentioning the topic in the poll and 11 percent of Democrats noting the topic.

During the two months the poll was taken, immigration ranked near the top of the list, likely because of the ongoing news stories about Central Americans entering the country illegally. Before July, when the problem started to intensify, immigration ranked much lower among concerns for both parties.

The poll has an overall margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points, which increases to 4 points for single-party subgroups.

Earlier this week, a separate Polling Company/Woman Trend poll revealed 61 percent of Americans disapprove of the way President Barack Obama is handling illegal immigration, with 57 percent failing him on his overall performance in the White House.

When Republicans complained about the government, the comments included, according to Gallup, "a president who doesn't know how to sit down with Congress and negotiate; no one is leading this country; and the country is in a downward spiral due to our president; and Obama thinking he can circumvent everybody."

But when Democrats complained about Congress, the comments included: "obstructionism of Congress, especially in the House of Representatives; the "dysfunctional Republican House of Representatives;" and "the fact that the Republicans will not do the job they are elected for."

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