Americans now say that a lack of leadership from President Biden and the Congress is the country’s biggest problem — outpacing inflation, the immigration crisis and the state of the economy, according to a poll released on Monday.
Despite Americans getting socked in the wallet, “the government/poor leadership” took over the No. 1 spot from inflation over the past year, with 21% of Americans naming it as the “most important problem facing this country today” compared to the 15% who said so last year, a Gallup Poll found.
Inflation and the economy came in last year as the top two issues — tied at 16% each — followed by the government (15%), immigration (8%) and unifying the country (6%).
Over the past year, Americans’ concerns with the economy fell 6 percentage points to 10%, inflation fell one point to 15%, and immigration rose 3 points to 11%.
The percentage of Americans who named unifying the country as one of the problems remained the same.
Americans’ outlook appears to have tracked the cooling rate of inflation, which fell from 7.5% last January to 6.5% in December, according to the most recent numbers.
The poll was conducted between Jan. 2-22 when the discovery of classified documents at President Biden’s Delaware home and the US House of Representatives prolonged vote on electing Rep. Kevin McCarthy the House speaker dominated headlines.
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But the poll pointed out that the approval ratings for Biden (41%) and Congress (21%) remain basically unchanged over the past year.
Republicans believe “the government/poor leadership” is more of a problem (24%) than Democrats (18%).
Republicans pick inflation and the economy (both at 18%) as the second most pressing problems, followed by the economy (11%), declines in morality, ethics and the family (6%) and the federal budget deficit (5%).
Democrats go with inflation (11%), the economy (9%) then race relations (9%), unifying the country (8%), and the environment (6%).
And while Americans might be worried about the government, the economy doesn’t get a pass.
Forty-five percent rate the economy as poor, 38% as only fair and 15% say good.
Only 2% say it is excellent – percentages that are only incrementally better than last year.
But 72% believe the economy is going to get worse while 22% think it will get better.
Asked about the job market, 64% say this is a good time to find a “quality job,” compared to 33% who say it is a bad time.
Last year, 62% said it was a good time and 35% said it was a bad time.