Gallup: Americans' Top Priorities for Next President Are Economy, Immigration, Healthcare

By Susan Jones | June 1, 2016 | 9:27am EDT
The three remaining presidential contenders would do well to focus on the economy, a new Gallup Poll indicates. (AP File Photos)

( - The economy, immigration, and healthcare (costs and reform) top the list of concerns for Americans as they prepare to elect a new president, a new Gallup Poll finds.

"Regardless of who wins the election, what single issue or challenge are you most interested in having the next president address when he or she takes office next January?" Gallup asked in telephone interviews conducted May 18-22, 2016, with a random sample of 1,530 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.  

Nineteen percent said the economy; 14 percent said immigration; and 10 percent said healthcare/healthcare costs/healthcare reform.

Rounding out the top ten top-of-mind priorities: Defense/national security (9 percent); education (8 percent); federal deficit/budget (7 percent); wages/decline of middle class (6 percent); jobs/unemployment (6 percent); terrorism (5 percent); and foreign policy (4 percent).

At the very bottom of the list, only 2 percent of Americans mentioned taxes; poverty/homelessness; environment/pollution; gun control; uniting Americans; and moral issues/ethics/religion.

Gallup said the responses to its May 18-22 "benchmark" survey were similar to those measured in January, "showing  that the issues on which the public wants the next president to focus haven't changed after five additional months of intense campaigning and issue discussion in the string of debates held during that time."

In a separate question in the May poll, Gallup asked Americans to rate the importance of 17 specific issues in determining their vote for president.

Ninety-two percent said the economy was "extremely/very important" in determining their vote, followed by employment/jobs (89 percent).

In response to this question, 69 percent chose immigration as being "extremely/very important," putting it ninth on the list. Eighty-three percent said healthcare/the Affordable Care Act was "extremely/very important," putting it fifth on the list.

Gallup's conclusion, based on the May poll: "The presidential candidates and, in turn, the next president of the United States, would be well-advised to keep a strong focus on the economy, which -- although not the dominant issue it has been in previous elections -- is clearly a common concern.

"Americans also want their next president to focus on several fundamental issues: immigration, defense and national security, healthcare and education."

(For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is plus or minue 3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. All reported margins of sampling error include computed design effects for weighting.)

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