Concern about political gridlock and poor government leadership is near-equal to economic worries.
The percentage of Americans who consider immigration to be the top problem facing the United States has more than tripled since June, according to a new Gallup poll. Seventeen percent of respondents cited immigration as the problem they consider to be the “most important,” compared with 5 percent in June and the highest seen since 2006.
Immigration now virtually ties “dissatisfaction with government” (16 percent) as the most important problem facing the United States. The other two problems reaching double-digit concern this month are the economy (15 percent) and unemployment/jobs (14 percent).
This is the not the first time that immigration has spiked in the public’s consciousness, Gallup notes. Concern over the issue surveyed to 10 percent four years ago at a time when a new Arizona immigration law was making headlines. In 2006, concern surged to 15 percent amid congressional debate over immigration reform.
Across age groups, concern over immigration is heightened among seniors and Baby Boomers ages 50-64 (24 percent), while seniors are slightly more concerned about poor leadership in government (25 percent). For Millennials ages 18-29, the economy and unemployment rate double-digit concern (13 percent and 11 percent respectively), while Gen Xers are most concerned about political leadership (or lack thereof) and the economy (20 percent and 19 percent, respectively).
A 2014 Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner wealth level study of non-Millionaire households with a net worth of at least $100,000 are concerned first and foremost with the prolonged economic downturn (83 percent), but a near-equal percentage are most concerned about government gridlock (81 percent) and the contentious political environment (79 percent).
At least three-fourths said they are most concerned about inflation (77 percent), tax increases (76 percent), the national debt and the federal deficit (74 percent each).
Across age groups, the highest percentage of non-Millionaires concerned about government gridlock and the political environment are seniors, while Baby Boomers ages 55-64 are most likely to be concerned with tax increases, the national debt and the federal deficit.
In terms of the news stories most affecting their economic outlook, the highest percentage of Affluent investors surveyed this month by Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner this month (21 percent) responded “International problems.’ The survey was conducted before the recent border crisis, when tensions were escalating in the Middle East and between Russian and Ukraine.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.