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Democrats, Republicans, Independents Differ on Issues That Worry Them Most

3 years ago
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The top five issues that Americans worry about the most would not surprise anyone -- the economy, federal spending and the deficit, availability and affordability of health care, unemployment and the Social Security system. But one polling snapshot zeroes in on the difference in emphasis that Republicans, Democrats and independents regard as the top issues.

For the overall population, 71 percent say they worry a great deal about the economy, 64 percent name federal spending and the deficit, 58 percent are concerned about health care, 57 percent fret about unemployment and 51 percent mention Social Security, according to a Gallup poll conducted March 3-6.

But looked at along party lines, federal spending tops the list for Republicans at 79 percent, with the economy a close second at 76 percent. The size and power of government is a major worry for 62 percent of Republicans, compared to 48 percent for the overall public. Illegal immigration is another issue higher on the list for Republicans (at 55 percent) than it is for the general public (42 percent).

Democrats put health care at the top of their list with 69 percent saying that's their top worry, followed by the economy at 64 percent, unemployment at 60 percent and Social Security at 53 percent.

Among independents, the order of concerns is: the economy (72 percent), federal spending (65 percent), health care (58 percent) and unemployment (55 percent).

The issue Americans worry about least is race relations, which only 16 percent call a top worry, with the environment second to last at 34 percent. In between, for the public at large, is availability and affordability of energy (46 percent), crime and violence (44 percent), illegal immigration (42 percent), hunger and homelessness (41 percent), possibility of a terrorist attack in the U.S. (40 percent) and drug use (40 percent).

Health care did not break into the ranks of top concerns for Republicans, and a Kaiser Family Foundation poll, conducted March 8-13, shows that it continues to be a polarizing issues, with Republicans strongly opposed to the year-old reform measure and Democrats strongly in support.





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12 Comments

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inasctg56

Difference between the parties are huge. Gop is still cutting jobs and wages while handing it over to corporate tax cuts hoping it will trickle down. The dems passed legislation for 100% write offs for improvements made in THIS country. The gop wants to cut the IRS. The dems gave them the resources to go after offshore accounts. The gop wants to repeal the new banking legislation that addresses the problems with the gop's 2002 banking legislation. The gop refused to meet with our manufacturing sector while giving incentives to go overseas and taxing those profits at 5.25%. The dems have negotiated better trade deals that have our exports at double digit gains and 19 months of manufacturing gains. It looks to me like the dems policies and legislation are working for american workers and the gop's works for corporate record profits.

March 23 2011 at 1:53 PM Report abuse +11 rate up rate down Reply
shawn2254

Due to the federal deficite if it is not in the constitution defund it.t

March 23 2011 at 12:57 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
shawn2254

If we do not fix the deficit spending there will be no federal spending for any thing.
No one will want to accept the american dollar for any thing other than toilet paper.

March 23 2011 at 12:51 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Hailey

life threatening* is what I meant...I ran out of characters toward the end. My apologies

March 22 2011 at 11:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Hailey

First, I would like to say that I do not personally see myself as Republican, Democrat, nor Independent. I concur with certain aspects of each party. This is probably the biggest problem with America if you would like to go down to the foundation of all current problems nationally; Americans are forced to pick sides. Each party has its positives and negatives when it comes to the priorities of the future of this country. The problem is that neither party has all the top priorities. So therefore, someone will dominate and someone will not, which hinders our nation to improve, because not all of the top priorities are being exercised. Never the less, the reason for this post was my argument that I believe that Republicans are correct to worry about the economy and federal spending as the top priority (not saying that republicans are always correct) . It can not take a rocket scientist to understand that before healthcare, unemployment, social security, etc., can be dealt with, federal spending and the deficit and the economy must come first before anything else improves. In order to fix a problem correctly, permanently, and efficiently no matter how big or small, you must get to the root of the problem, which in America's case is money. You can try to improve healthcare and try to make it more available and more affordable all day long, but what will that do? Put us at more of a deeper deficit than we are already in, further hurt the economy, further create more unemployment, and create another entire downward cycle that us as Americans do not want to get deeper in to. I am merely a nursing student about to graduate. Am I extremely concerned about healthcare and where its going? Yes. You would think my first priority would be healthcare. But I would like to think that I am overly educated for the average nursing student and I see the bigger picture. Healthcare, education, unemployment, social security are all huge issues and problems. But before they can be fixed, we must fix the underlying problem. Americans really have gotten spoiled and really love immediate gratification. Unfortunately, with the way things are going, in order to really improve all of the nations immediate problems, it may take us Americans to have to suffer a bit before we feel the affects of improvement. Its sad how now, in modern times, people only seems to see the nations priorities as issues that they are being directly affected by and they simply want to improve it because "they" personally are hurting. I think this is a time for us to look back in history at our ancestors that created this "not so now wonderful democracy." It is time for Americans to be willing to have the possibility of suffering a little to change the big, versus trying to change the little to not suffer "right now." I promise, if we keep trying to fix the problems that our nation has just to be more "acutely" comfortable, we will all end up with a life threate "chronic" disease.Which would you rather?

March 22 2011 at 11:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
p47nandmosquito

The environment came in second to last? Shame on us. The most important problem for every species on the planet, including humans, and we ignore it. The simple fact is that we are rapidly approaching a point where there may be no way to fix climate change for hundreds of years. Theodore Roosevelt really hit the nail on the head when he said:
"We have gotten past the stage, my fellow-citizens, when we are to be pardoned if we treat any part of our country as something to be skinned for two or three years for the use of the present generation, whether it is the forest, the water, the scenery. Whatever it is, handle it so that your children's children will get the benefit of it."
Of course, it would never have occurred to him that people could consider destroying not just a small part of the Earth, but the whole thing.

March 21 2011 at 10:35 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to p47nandmosquito's comment
rockywalter2327

isn't it sad that folks are actually giving your post thumbs down? It seems so simple to me. Nothing, and I mean nothing matters if we don't take care of the earth first. As the eath goes, so goes it's inhabitants. ALL of it's inhabitants. Not rocket science here folks.

March 23 2011 at 11:48 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
fishlover

Clearly, no interest protect American people.

March 21 2011 at 7:56 PM Report abuse +23 rate up rate down Reply
minnieh6

How unfortunate that our (the people) are left out due to the differences and contraversy of discussions that have no benefit for the people. And still no solutions; only debates, and competition with one another. WHEN WHEN WHEN will our representatives help us by combating the staged murders, fause accusations but mostly "With the stroke of my pen I can make your life disappear" and it's working against us terribly. And we know them and they are still working on jobs and nothing is done.

March 21 2011 at 4:44 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
tnickerson08

The media can try to confuse, spin and divided the isses all they want but all of theses issues (other than immigration) are the same thing. The media left out the biggest drag on the economy housing, which has affected more people then all of the other issues.

March 21 2011 at 3:31 PM Report abuse -7 rate up rate down Reply
catalogsplus

It's okay to have differences. That is what makes a democracy work with the majority deciding what the nation's priorities will be by electing officials who support their views. In the previous election America decided Democrats were not adhering to their priorities. In the next election voters will decide if those they replaced Democrats with are adhering to their wishes. Things can change quickly and that can be a good thing since our public servants too often ignore us once we put them in office. The only thing I strong disagree with is 6-year terms for the Senate. It should clearly be no more than 3 or 4 year terms.

March 21 2011 at 3:18 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

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