Government sets a record: Here are the top 10 problems Americans say are plaguing the US

A new Gallup poll asked Americans to name the greatest problem the United States currently faces — and once again they named government No. 1.
In fact, it wasn't even close.

Not only did government top the list again — it did so at a record high of 35 percent. This was nearly twice the level of the issue that came in second on the list: immigration.

Here are the top 10 items Americans named as the greatest problem our country faces, according to Gallup's data:

No. 1: Government/Poor leadership — 35 percent
No. 2: Immigration – 19 percent
No. 3: Health care — 6 percent
No. 4: Race relations/Racism — 5 percent
No. 5: Unifying the country — 4 percent
No. 6: Poverty/Hunger/Homelessness — 4 percent
No. 7: Environment/Pollution — 3 percent
No. 8: Ethics/Moral/Religious/Family decline — 3 percent
No. 9: Federal budget deficit/Federal debt — 3 percent
No. 10: Economy in general — 3 percent

Anything else?

The new record high for government-as-greatest-problem tops the previous high of 33 percent, which came during the 2013 government shutdown, Gallup said.

The government has been a very consistent top vote-getter in this poll since President Donald Trump took office. According to Gallup, every month but two since January 2017 when Trump was sworn in, government has topped the list of greatest problems. In July and November 2018, immigration narrowly beat out government.

Also, during the Trump administration, we have seen a rise in the annual average share of Americans naming government/leadership as the top problem. And if the trend from the first month and a half of 2019 continues, we could see the annual average record shattered. From the Gallup report:
Americans have become more likely to name the government and/or leadership as the country's greatest problem over the past decade. From 2001 through 2009, yearly averages of this measure were consistently below 10%, but mentions of government as the foremost challenge have become more pervasive in the decade since. In 2010 to 2016, average mentions of the government as the biggest problem ranged from 12% to 19%.

President Donald Trump's first two years in office so far have produced the highest average mentions of government as the most important problem for recent presidents, at 20% and 22%. Though just six weeks into the new year, 2019 could top Trump's first two years if this trend continues.
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