Americans choose education, health care, unemployment, and immigration as priorities based on national survey

A recent national survey by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research revealed that health care, unemployment, immigration, and education are this year’s top policy priority list of the American public.

“Our unique, open-ended format shows that the average American is concerned about a number of policy issues and wants the new government in Washington to work hard to address them,” AP-NORC Center director Trevor Tompson said in a statement.

He, however, said that the American people weren’t very optimistic of the idea that there will be a considerable accomplishment from the government, particularly for old issues such as environment, racism, and poverty. Yet, they were more optimistic that progress will be made on terrorism, immigration, and unemployment.

The survey showed that health care was the top issue for Republicans (47%), Independents (43%), and Democrats (40%). Meanwhile, unemployment was cited by Republicans, (37%), Independents (26%), and Democrats (25%).

The country’s economy was generally mentioned by about a fifth, notwithstanding the party.

In terms of some leading priorities of the country, there is noticeably a partisan agreement. Democrats and Republicans disagreed on the significance of other issues, such as immigration for instance.

Immigration was the second response most common among 40% of Republicans as opposed to merely 15% of Democrats who listed it as among their top five priorities.

Americans also stated that the government should give a significant amount of effort in arriving at a solution to the priorities of the public.

But the survey didn’t examine what were the accomplishments the people particularly want to see in the issues raised. It could be that each group would want varied resolutions.

Last year, 69% said the US was in the wrong path and 30% thought it was in the right direction. This year, 56% considered the country is in the wrong track and 42% said otherwise.

With Donald Trump’s win as president, 66% of Republicans believed the country gearing toward the right course, which is up from 18% in 2015. Twenty-two percent of Democrats considered the country taking the right course, which is down from last year’s 42%.

The nationwide survey used the probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel of the NORC at University of Chicago. It conducted the poll from December 14-19 last year through phone—mobile and landline—and online interviews of 1,017 adults.

(Photo Credit: Kevin Dooley via flickr)

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