Americans listed the government and the economy as the country's most pressing problems, ahead of terrorism and gun violence, according to a new Gallup study published Thursday. Concern about the government topped the list, with 16 percent of respondents indicating related issues like Congress, the president and bipartisanship this month as the biggest problems facing the country.
The economy has consistently been voted as either the first or second-most important U.S. issue mentioned since early 2008 — the year financial markets crashed in one of its worst drops in American history. The latest study found 13 percent of Americans considered it the top issue.
Terrorism was mentioned by only 9 percent of respondents, down from 16 percent in December after terrorist attacks in San Bernardino, California, and Paris were linked to the extremist Islamic State group. Guns were listed as the biggest problem in the country by 7 percent of respondents, after several major shootings last year.
— Kate Andrews (@KateAndrs) January 6, 2016
"Concern about guns remained relatively high for the second straight month, perhaps indicating that the president's calls for changes to gun control laws are resonating with some Americans," researchers wrote. "But with no issue topping 16%, the year starts without an overriding problem on the minds of Americans, perhaps paving the way for Obama to focus his final year in office on some of the other issues he outlined in his State of the Union address."
The poll surveyed 1,012 adults ages 18 and older throughout the country. For the latest data, interviews were conducted from Jan. 6-10 over the phone. At least 60 percent of respondents were reached on their cell phones and 40 percent on landlines. Respondents were selected through random digital dial technology, and the margin of error for the findings is plus or minus 4 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level, according to researchers.