You may have noticed that Barack Obama and the media are spending a lot of time trying to convince the American people that the availability of guns is a major issue facing the nation. According to Gallup, both have completely failed in getting us to stampede in that direction. Only 2 percent of American think guns the most important issue.
What are Americans’ chief concerns? The top ones were the federal government itself (!), the economy, jobs, immigration, and healthcare.
Here are the total poll results:
Gallup’s “bottom line” was as follows:
Americans were most likely to mention some aspect of the federal government in 2015 when asked to name the country’s top problem, but this category still averaged less than 20% of all responses during the year. Even when mentions of terrorism, immigration and gun laws briefly flared, the percentages citing these stayed below the 20% threshold.
This lack of a prominent public concern provides an interesting setup to the 2016 presidential election. Some Americans remain most worried about the economy; others are mainly concerned about immigration, and others are divided across a host of domestic policy concerns. This contrasts with the last three presidential election cycles when at least one issue commanded significant public attention in the year prior to the election. In 2011, for example, the dominant issues were the economy and unemployment; in 2007, the Iraq War; and in 2003, the economy. Those concerns provided a clear framework for the campaigns, something that is thus far lacking in the race for 2016.
I don’t think that Americans are as fractured as the Gallup article suggests. Concern about the government and concern about the economy may be closely related. Some understand the government is destroying the economy. Jobs are obviously also related to the economy, and immigration could easily fit into that concern. Healthcare is also a major economic concern.
But the real takeaway here is that the executive branch and the media have been waging a propaganda war against reality. And reality is winning!
PS. Still don’t believe me? Look at how few people think “Environment/Pollution” is our most important issue. Barack Obama’s magic is losing its hypnotic power.