Poll: Government is the number one problem in US

Posted at 3:39 PM, Mar 12, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-12 17:42:28-04

It's worse than the economy, unemployment and even terrorism.

Americans identify their government as the number one problem in the country, according to an open-ended Gallup poll.

The state of government was named by 18 percent, or nearly 1 in 5 people. Taken together, 14 percent of Americans said terrorism, national security or ISIS were the top issue.

Some issues have improved, though. The number of people who named the economy as the number one issue decreased by more than one-third, from 16 percent in February to 11 percent in March.

"While dissatisfaction with government is by no means a new issue to the American people, it has not in recent months been as clearly the leading problem as it is now, given that fewer Americans mention the economy," the study said.

Healthcare also saw an improvement, going from 10 percent of people saying it was the the top problem down to 7 percent.

Today, less than one-third of Americans said they are satisfied with the direction of the country. That's up from the 2008 low of 7 percent but way off its peak of 71 percent satisfaction in 1999.

The poll sampled 1,025 adults and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.

Gavin Stern is a national digital producer for the Scripps National Desk.