The survey also found that inflation continues to be a major concern, with 15% of respondents citing it as the second biggest issue. Tensions surrounding illegal immigration at the southern border have increased, with 11% of Americans now listing it as a major problem. Concerns about the state of the economy saw a decrease, falling six points to 10%, the lowest reading in the past year.
The field period of the poll coincided with the highly publicized election of Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House of Representatives by Republicans, who now hold a slim majority in the House. The poll also took place during a time when classified government documents from 2009 to 2017 were discovered in President Joe Biden's private office and home.
Following these events, mentions of the government as the nation's top problem rose six points this month to 21%. Meanwhile, job approval ratings for both President Biden (41%) and Congress (21%) remained unchanged. The government is seen as the top problem by both Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (24%), as well as Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents (18%).
Inflation and immigration are each cited by 18% of Republicans, while Democrats are more likely to view the government, national unity and the environment as the main problems. Mentions of inflation (11%), the economy in general and race relations (both 9%) were also noted as primary areas of concern among Democrats.