Gallup: Government dissatisfaction ranks as top concern

Dissatisfaction with government remains the public’s top concern in 2014, according to a new poll. 

A Gallup poll released Wednesday found 21 percent of people rated government as the most important problem facing the country. The number is little changed since December and has topped the list since the government shutdown in October. 

The economy in general, with 18 percent, and the unemployment rate, with 16 percent, rank second and third on the list. 

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Concern about healthcare is the only other issue that ranks in the double digits. Sixteen percent called it the most important problem. That number has fallen slightly since it peaked in November amid the botched rollout of the federal healthcare exchange website. 

Only 8 percent of people rated the debt as the most important problem. 

Along with dissatisfaction with government, a separate Gallup poll this week found Congress’s approval rating stood at 13 percent. Compared to last January, dissatisfaction with government is slightly higher today. It peaked at 33 percent during the government shutdown. While that number has fallen dramatically, it continues to remain higher than before the shutdown. 

Concern with healthcare has made the most drastic jump since last January, when only 4 percent of people rated it as the nation’s top issue. According to Gallup, the spike is largely due to Republicans. 

“While the top five issues today also figured prominently in January 2013, their relative positioning has shifted in ways that could affect how Obama frames his message,” Gallup said in a analysis accompanying the poll. 

The poll surveyed 1,018 adults and holds a 4-percent margin or error.