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Americans Still Say Government Is the Country’s Biggest Problem: Gallup Poll

Almost halfway into 2023, Americans continue to identify the government itself as the biggest problem the United States is facing, the latest results of a Gallup survey suggest.

In survey results released Tuesday, the Gallup polling organization found that 18 percent of respondents named “government” as the nation’s most important problem. The “economy in general” category came in second at 14 percent, followed by “high cost of living or inflation” (9 percent), “immigration” (8 percent), “guns or gun control” (7 percent), and “crime or violence” (6 percent).

Gallup notes in its summary that “government” is a category encompassing a range of response options, such as the dissatisfaction with the president himself, Congress, and party politics and gridlock.

When it comes to overall satisfaction with the country’s direction, just 4 percent of Republicans and 16 percent of independents describe themselves as satisfied with the way things are going. The percentage of Democrats expressing satisfaction also dropped to 29 from 36 percent at the beginning of this year, hitting the lowest point since July 2022, the month right after the U.S. Supreme Court allowed each state to decide the legality of abortion on its own.

The results are based on telephone interviews conducted between April 3 and April 25 among 1,013 randomly selected adults living in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, with a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.

Government Remains No. 1 Concern

It’s not rare for Americans to name the government as their top concern, according to Gallup polls in previous years.

In fact, dissatisfaction with the government hasn’t fallen out of the top three U.S. issues in Gallup’s annual survey since 2013, when many federal agencies were left paralyzed for 16 days largely because of the disagreement in Congress over the funding of Obamacare.

Moreover, there have only been three times in the past 10 years that the “government” category didn’t top Gallup’s list of the most important problems. It was surpassed by COVID-19 in 2020, and by the economy in 2016 and 2013.

The highest rate of dissatisfaction with the government occurred in 2019 at 27 percent, but has since declined, hitting 19 percent last year, according to Gallup.

Another Gallup survey last October suggested that only 38 percent of Americans said they trusted the legislative branch and 43 percent said they trusted the executive branch. Americans who had faith in the judicial branch also dropped to 47 percent in the aftermath of a series of decisions and events, including the leak of a draft opinion written by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito that sought to overturn the federal protection of abortion.

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