- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 31, 2023

More Americans are citing the government and poor leadership as the nation’s top problem, topping a list that includes inflation, immigration and race relations, according to a new poll.

Gallup said 21% of Americans name the government as the top problem while 15% point to inflation and 11% cite immigration, followed by the economy in general (10%), the need to unify the country (6%) and race relations (5%).

Pollsters said 5% cited poverty/hunger/homelessness and 4% pointed to crime and violence. A perceived decline in ethics/morals/family rounds out the list at 4%.

The share of people citing the government and lousy leadership is up 6 percentage points from December. The economy and inflation had been the top issue at the time.

The change occurred during the period in which House Speaker Kevin McCarthy navigated a messy leadership vote on the House floor that involved 15 ballots and side deals with his GOP troops.

Lawyers also found classified documents at an office and residence maintained by President Biden, deepening questions about the flow of sensitive papers to former presidents.

“Americans’ mentions of the government as the nation’s most important problem have risen significantly in the past month, while inflation remains the next most-cited issue,” Gallup said. “Fewer name the economy in general, yet when asked about the economy directly, Americans continue to lack confidence in its current and future health.”

The government ranks as the top problem for both Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (24%) and Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents (18%).

Although mentions of the government as the nation’s top problem rose over the past month, job approval ratings of Mr. Biden (41%) and Congress (21%) remained flat.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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