Concern about crime is on the rise over last year.
Economic, more than social, issues are of a “great deal” of concern to majorities of Americans, according to a new Gallup poll.
The highest percentage of Americans (68 percent) said they worry a great deal about the economy, while 61 percent said they are worried about federal spending and the budget deficit. The available and affordability of healthcare is of the most concern to 59 percent of respondents, while 55 percent’s worries are fueled by gas prices.
Half of Americans are most worried about unemployment and the viability of the Social Security system.
Three-in-ten Americans said they were worried a great deal about such issues as illegal immigration (37 percent), the quality of the environment (36 percent), drug use (36 percent), the availability and affordability of energy (35 percent) and the possibility of terrorist attacks in the U.S. (34 percent).
Surprisingly, three was a 13 point drop in the percentage of Americans who are most concerned about the availability and affordability of energy (from 48 percent last year) as well as a 10-point drop in worry about gas prices (from 65 percent). Concern about unemployment has edged downward for three consecutive years, Gallup reports, including a five-point drop this year from 55 percent. But it is still of elevated concern for Americans from 2001-2008, when no more than 36 percent were highly worried about it.
Public concern about crime increase by at least five points this year, a reflection, Gallup suggests, on the nation’s renewed debate over gun control in the wake of such horrific events as the Newton, Con.. school shooting last December.
Not surprisingly, crime is just one of the issues on which there is a partisan divide between those who identify themselves as Republicans and Democrats. Republicans expressed appreciably more worry over issues such as the size and power of the federal government (64 percent vs. 32 percent of Democrats) and federal spending and the budget deficit (78 percent vs. 49 percent), while Democrats were most likely to say they were most worried about healthcare (65 percent vs. 53 percent), crime and violence (54 percent vs. 42 percent), hunger and homelessness (51 percent vs. 31 percent) and the environment (48 percent vs. 22 percent).
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.