Most Americans in 74 Years Consider Government Nation’s Worst Problem; Approval of Republican Party Plunges to All-Time Low

Friday, October 11, 2013

Even in a jobless recovery with unemployment still running high in many parts of the country, Americans no longer consider the economy the biggest problem facing them. For the first time in 74 years, that distinction goes to the government—which has been paralyzed by the Republican-led shutdown.


Speaking of the GOP, its popularity among Americans has dropped to an all-time low.


A new Gallup poll (conducted just after the shutdown began) found 33% of Americans said dissatisfaction with government and elected representatives was the nation’s top issue. Not since 1939, when Gallup began keeping track, have so many people put government at the top of the fix-this list.


The economy came in a distant second, at 19%, followed by unemployment (12%), the deficit (12%), and healthcare (12%) as the nation’s most pressing problem. The situation in Syria, which last month was rated as the country’s top problem by 8% of Americans, has now fallen nearly out of sight at 1%.


During the last government shutdown, in January 1996, Americans also found government to be the country’s leading problem, but that percentage was only half the current number.


In another survey, Gallup discovered Americans’ disapproval of the Republican Party is at a historic low (for either party). Only 28% view the GOP favorably, the lowest Gallup has ever seen since it started asking the question in 1992.


Meanwhile, 62% disapprove of the Republican Party.


Things aren’t great for Democrats, but their numbers are better: 49% unfavorable, 43% favorable.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Dysfunctional Gov't Surpasses Economy as Top U.S. Problem (by Frank Newport, Gallup)

Republican Party Favorability Sinks to Record Low (by Andrew Dugan, Gallup)

Trend in Party Favorability (by Tom Holbrook, Politics by the Numbers)

Most Americans Are Frustrated with Government; Approval of Congress Hits Bottom (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Only 28% of Americans Hold Favorable View of the Federal Government (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

62% of Americans Believe the Republican Party is Out of Touch, and 36% of Republicans Agree (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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