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