Poll shows con­fi­dence in the govern­ment lack­ing Poll: Low con­fi­dence in govern­ment

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Bill Bar­row and Emily Swan­son

wash­ing­ton » As the first vot­ing nears in the pres­i­den­tial race, most Amer­i­cans have lit­tle to no con­fi­dence in the fed­eral govern­ment to con­front what they see as the coun­try’smost im­por­tant pri­or­i­ties, ac­cord­ing to a na­tional sur­vey.

The As­so­ci­ated PressNORC Cen­ter for Pub­lic Affairs Re­search poll, con­ducted in De­cem­ber, found more than 6 in 10 re­spon­dents ex­pressed only slight con­fi­dence— or none at all — that the fed­eral govern­ment can make progress on the prob­lems fac­ing the na­tion in 2016.

Ter­ror­ism edged health care as the is­sue most of­ten men­tioned— each by about one-third of those ques­tioned— when peo­plewere asked to vol­un­teer the is­sues they be­lieveWash­ing­ton should ad­dress this elec­tion year.

The polling sug­gests an elec­torate­more fo­cused on the econ­omy and do­mes­tic affairs than on for­eign pol­icy. Two-thirds of re­spon­dents in­cluded an eco­nomic is­sue on their pri­or­ity list, and about 4 in 5 named a do­mes­tic pol­icy other than the econ­omy.

In ad­di­tion to those who men­tioned ter­ror­ism, nearly half added an­other for­eign pol­icy mat­ter, and im­mi­gra­tion was the next most fre­quent topic raised.

Per­haps most vex­ing for the dozen or so can­di­dates vy­ing to suc­ceed Pres­i­dent Barack Obama, the poll in­di­cates wide­spread skep­ti­cism about the gov­ern- An AP-NORC poll finds few peo­ple be­lieve the fed­eral govern­ment can tackle sig­nif­i­cant is­sues fac­ing the U.S.

Na­tional Se­cu­rity

For­eign pol­icy

War ment’s abil­ity to solve prob­lems, with no sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence in the out­look be­tween Repub­li­cans and Democrats.

Along with ter­ror­ism and health care, re­spon­dents were most likely to cite im­mi­gra­tion (29 per­cent), education (25 per­cent) and un­em­ploy­ment (24 per­cent) as pri­or­i­ties.

Democrats and Repub­li­cans were about equally likely to men­tion un­em­ploy­ment, though there­was a racial dis­par­ity. Al­most half of black re­spon­dents men­tioned the is­sue, com­pared­with only one-fifth of whites.

Apre­dictable par­ti­san di­vide was ap­par­ent in other is­sues.

Repub­li­cans were more likely thanDemocrats to cite ter­ror­ism as a pri­or­ity, 42 per­cent to 30 per­cent. Immi- gra­tionwas­men­tioned by 43 per­cent of Repub­li­cans and 21 per­cent of Democrats.

The poll was taken af­ter the Paris at­tacks that were at­trib­uted to the Is­lamic State group and a shoot­ing in San Bernardino, Calif., blamed on Is­lamic State group sym­pa­thiz­ers.

One-fifth of Repub­li­cans men­tioned the fed­eral bud­get deficit, com­pared with less than a one-tenth of Democrats, with a sim­i­lar di­vide on the im­por­tance of taxes. Democrats were more likely to con­sider guns as pri­or­ity, along with education, crime, racial prob­lems, the en­vi­ron­ment and cli­mate change.

The AP-NORC Poll of 1,042 adults was con­ducted Dec. 10-13, 2015. The­mar­gin of sam­pling er­ror for all re­spon­dents is plus or mi­nus 3.9 per­cent­age points.

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