Although Americans still worry about terrorist attacks (more than half think another attack is at least somewhat likely in the next 12 months), the country is focused on domestic issues — most critically, the economy, which nearly half the country thinks is getting worse. 40% of Americans interviewed in the latest Economist/YouGov Poll cite the economy as their most important issue, and the two issues that rank second and third — Social Security and health care — are also domestic concerns.
Ten years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, only 3% cite terrorism as the country’s most important issue. Even fewer name the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, wars begun since the terrorist attacks.
The country’s focus on the economy is a presidential problem, too. Only 28% approve of the way President Obama is handling the economy, among his lowest ratings ever on this issue. In fact, in the week’s poll, he scores that low on only one other issue — also economic — his management of the federal budget deficit.
The President will try to address this problem in his Thursday speech on jobs. And on this issue the public wants to see more action from him. Only 18% say he is doing enough to try to create jobs; 63% say he should be doing more.
Even those who identify with his own party agree that he could be doing more to create jobs.
About half the public wants the government to spend more to create jobs and stimulate the economy, but this is a very partisan issue. 75% of Democrats favor government spending for this purpose; 67% of Republicans oppose it.
Photo source: Press Association