New Survey on Americans’ Priorities Finds Terrorism, Health Care, Immigration, Education, and Unemployment Top List for 2016
Chicago, IL, January 23, 2016—Unemployment is the top economic issue, health care is the most frequently mentioned domestic issue, and terrorism is the top foreign policy concern, according to a new national survey conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The survey posed the question, “Thinking about the problems facing the United States and the world today, which problems would you like the government to be working on in the year 2016?” and allowed respondents to cite up to five different problems. The results included problems that range from guns to race relations to national security.
"The format of our survey gave us the ability to capture the whole spectrum of issue priorities of the American public and we identified a very wide ranging list of high-priority concerns," said Trevor Tompson, director of The AP-NORC Center. "Americans see a lot of problems that need to be addressed but they have little confidence that their government will be able to make any progress in solving them."
Key findings from the survey include:
- Eight in 10 Americans named a domestic social issue as one of their top priorities. The top domestic issue for both Democrats (34 percent) and Republicans (27 percent) is health care.
- More than 6 in 10 mentioned an economy-related problem. Unemployment was named by Republicans and Democrats just about equally, but they sharply diverge on other economic issues.
- Twenty percent of Republicans cited the budget deficit and the same number are concerned about taxes. Less than 10 percent of Democrats mentioned either of those subjects, but 16 percent cited poverty.
- Republicans are more likely than Democrats or independents to name a foreign policy issue as one of the most important problems. Terrorism is a top issue for 42 percent of Republicans compared with 30 percent of Democrats and 31 percent of independents.
- Many more Republicans (43 percent) as Democrats (21 percent) or independents (26 percent) mention immigration.
- There is no partisan divide in the public’s lack of confidence in the ability of the federal government to make progress in solving any of these issues.
About the Survey
The nationwide poll was conducted Dec. 10-13, 2015, using the AmeriSpeak Panel, the probability-based panel of NORC at the University of Chicago. Online and telephone interviews using landlines and cellphones were conducted with 1,042 adults.
About The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research
The AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research taps into the power of social science research and the highest-quality journalism to bring key information to people across the nation and throughout the world.
The Associated Press (AP) is the essential global news network, delivering fast, unbiased news from every corner of the world to all media platforms and formats. Founded in 1846, AP today is the most trusted source of independent news and information. On any given day, more than half the world's population sees news from AP.
The two organizations have established The AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research to conduct, analyze, and distribute social science research in the public interest on newsworthy topics, and to use the power of journalism to tell the stories that research reveals.
About AmeriSpeak Omnibus
AmeriSpeak Omnibus is a once-a-month, multi-client survey using a probability sample of at least 1,000 nationally representative adults age 18 and older. Respondents are interviewed online and by phone from NORC’s AmeriSpeak Panel—the most scientifically rigorous multi-client household panel in the United States. AmeriSpeak households are selected randomly from NORC’s National Sample Frame, the industry leader in sample coverage. The National Frame is representative of over 99 percent of U.S. households and includes additional coverage of hard-to-survey population segments, such as rural and low-income households, that are underrepresented in other sample frames. More information about AmeriSpeak is available at AmeriSpeak.org.
“The format of our survey gave us the ability to capture the whole spectrum of issue priorities of the American public and we identified a very wide ranging list of high-priority concerns.”
About NORC at the University of Chicago
NORC at the University of Chicago conducts research and analysis that decision-makers trust. As a nonpartisan research organization and a pioneer in measuring and understanding the world, we have studied almost every aspect of the human experience and every major news event for more than eight decades. Today, we partner with government, corporate, and nonprofit clients around the world to provide the objectivity and expertise necessary to inform the critical decisions facing society.
Contact: For more information, please contact Eric Young at NORC at email@example.com or (703) 217-6814 (cell).