Immigration

Immigration, Gas Prices Climb on Most Important Problem List

National satisfaction drops further

GALLUP NEWS SERVICE

PRINCETON, NJ -- A new Gallup Poll shows a spike in the percentage of Americans who believe immigration is the most important problem in the United States, and a significant increase in concern over gas prices. The war in Iraq still rates as the top overall problem. Just 27% of Americans are satisfied with the way things are going in the country, a level not seen since the beginning of 1996.

Gallup asks the public to name the most important problem facing the nation each month. The Apr. 10-13 poll gives the latest update.

Most Important Problem, March-April Gallup Polls

Issue

% Mentioning,
in April

% Mentioning,
in March

%

%

War in Iraq

25

20

Immigration

19

6

Fuel/Oil prices

11

5

Economy in general

10

10

Dissatisfaction with gov't

8

8

Healthcare

6

8

Terrorism

6

9

Unemployment

6

8

Education

6

6

Decline of morals, ethics

4

6

The latest poll finds 25% of Americans mentioning the war in Iraq as the most important problem facing the country. That is an increase from last month, when 20% accorded Iraq that status. Iraq has rated as Americans' top concern on this measure for two years -- since April 2004.

This month's poll finds a sharp increase in the percentage mentioning immigration as the nation's top problem, following the U.S. Senate's unsuccessful attempt to pass a comprehensive bill to address illegal immigration as well as several large demonstrations on the issue in cities throughout the country. Nineteen percent of Americans say immigration is the most important problem, compared with just 6% in March. Immigration had never before reached the double-digit level since Gallup began tracking it in 1993, and it has never ranked among the top five issues until now.

Concern with fuel prices is also on the rise, though to a lesser extent than immigration. Eleven percent of Americans mention fuel/oil prices as the nation's top problem, placing it third behind Iraq and immigration. Three percent mention energy more generally. Public concern with these issues has not been this high since May 2001, when 9% of Americans mentioned gas prices and 11% mentioned energy. Last fall, when average gas prices passed $3.00 per gallon, 8% mentioned gas prices, as this issue was overshadowed by the war in Iraq and efforts to rebuild from damage caused by Hurricane Katrina.

The "economy in general" and "dissatisfaction with government" round out the public's top five concerns.

Democrats and Republicans disagree over the nation's top problem. For Democrats, it is Iraq. Thirty percent say so, compared with 21% of independents and 15% of Republicans. Among Republicans, immigration is seen as the most pressing concern. Thirty percent of Republicans cite immigration as the most important problem, compared with 16% of independents and 11% of Democrats.

National Satisfaction

The nation's general mood remains dour -- just 27% are satisfied with "the way things are going in the United States at this time," while 71% are dissatisfied. In March, 29% were satisfied, and in February 35% were. The last time Gallup measured satisfaction lower than the current figure was in early January 1996 (24%).

The trend line on this question dates back to 1979, and there have been a few instances where satisfaction has been even lower than it is now. Throughout the spring and summer of 1992, prior to George H.W. Bush's re-election defeat, fewer than one in five were satisfied, including just 14% in June of that year. In the final days of the Carter presidency in January 1981, just 17% were satisfied. In the summer of 1979, during the last major gas crisis, only 12% of Americans said they were satisfied.

Survey Methods

These results are based on telephone interviews with a randomly selected national sample of 1,005 adults, aged 18 and older, conducted Apr. 10-13, 2006. For results based on this sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum error attributable to sampling and other random effects is ±3 percentage points. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

In general, are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the way things are going in the United States at this time?

Satisfied

Dissatisfied

No opinion

%

%

%

2006

2006 Apr 10-13

27

71

2

2006 Mar 13-16

29

68

2

2006 Feb 6-9

35

62

3

2006 Jan 20-22

35

62

3

2006 Jan 9-12

36

61

3

2005

2005 Dec 19-22

36

62

2

2005 Dec 5-8

35

62

3

2005 Nov 17-20

36

62

2

2005 Nov 7-10

31

66

3

2005 Oct 24-26

35

63

2

2005 Oct 13-16

31

68

1

2005 Sep 26-28

39

59

2

2005 Sep 12-15

34

65

1

2005 Aug 22-25

34

62

4

2005 Aug 8-11

37

60

3

2005 Jul 25-28

40

58

2

2005 Jul 7-10

42

57

1

2005 Jun 16-19

42

56

2

2005 Jun 6-8

38

60

2

2005 May 23-26

41

55

4

2005 May 2-5

39

58

3

2005 Apr 4-7

38

59

3

2005 Mar 21-23

38

59

3

2005 Mar 7-10

42

56

2

2005 Feb 21-24

45

52

3

2005 Feb 7-10

46

52

2

2005 Jan 3-5

46

53

1

2004

2004 Dec 5-8

45

53

2

2004 Nov 7-10

44

54

2

2004 Oct 29-31

44

53

3

2004 Oct 11-14

41

57

2

2004 Sep 13-15

41

56

3

2004 Aug 9-11

44

55

1

2004 Jul 8-11

41

57

2

2004 Jun 3-6

39

59

2

2004 May 7-9

37

62

1

2004 May 2-4

36

62

2

2004 Apr 5-8

41

57

2

2004 Mar 8-11

39

60

1

2004 Feb 9-12

45

54

1

2004 Jan 12-15

46

53

1

2004 Jan 2-5

55

43

2

2003

2003 Dec 11-14

50

48

2

2003 Nov 3-5

44

54

2

2003 Oct 6-8

41

57

2

2003 Sep 8-10

40

58

2

2003 Aug 4-6

46

52

2

2003 Jul 7-9

50

48

2

2003 Jun 12-15

47

51

2

2003 May 5-7

54

45

1

2003 Apr 7-9

55

41

4

2003 Mar 22-23

60

38

2

2003 Mar 3-5

36

61

3

2003 Feb 17-19

39

58

3

2003 Feb 3-6

40

58

2

2003 Jan 13-16

42

56

2

2002

2002 Dec 5-8

46

51

3

2002 Nov 11-14

48

48

4

2002 Oct 31-Nov 3

48

47

5

2002 Oct 3-6

47

49

4

2002 Sep 5-8

47

51

2

2002 Aug 5-8

47

50

3

2002 Jul 26-28

48

49

3

2002 Jul 22-24

49

47

4

2002 Jul 9-11

49

48

3

2002 Jun 3-6

52

44

4

2002 May 6-9

56

40

4

2002 Apr 8-11

61

37

2

2002 Mar 4-7

61

37

2

2002 Feb 4-6

61

37

2

2002 Jan 7-9

65

32

3

2001

2001 Dec 6-9

70

28

2

2001 Nov 8-11

65

33

2

2001 Oct 11-14

67

29

4

2001 Sep 14-15

61

36

3

2001 Sep 7-10

43

55

2

2001 Aug 16-19

48

49

3

2001 Jul 19-22

51

46

3

2001 Jun 11-17

51

46

3

2001 May 10-14

46

50

4

2001 Apr 6-8

50

47

3

2001 Mar 5-7

53

44

3

2001 Feb 1-4

51

45

4

2001 Jan 10-14

56

41

3

2000

2000 Dec 2-4

51

46

3

2000 Nov 13-15

58

41

1

2000 Oct 6-9

62

36

2

2000 Aug 29-Sep 5

59

38

3

2000 Aug 18-19

63

33

4

2000 Jul 14-16

61

35

4

2000 Jun 22-25

56

39

5

2000 May 18-21

55

42

3

2000 Apr 3-9

59

37

4

2000 Feb 25-27

65

32

3

2000 Jan 7-10

69

28

3

1999

1999 Sep 23-26

52

45

3

1999 Aug 24-26

62

35

3

1999 Jun 11-13

55

42

3

1999 May 23-24

51

46

3

1999 Apr 26-27

51

45

4

1999 Apr 13-14

58

39

3

1999 Feb 12-13

71

26

3

1999 Jan 15-17

70

28

2

1998

1998 Dec 28-29

50

48

2

1998 Oct 29-Nov 1

60

34

6

1998 Aug 21-23

63

34

3

1998 Aug 10-12

60

36

4

1998 May 8-10

59

36

5

1998 Apr 17-19

58

38

4

1998 Feb 20-22

64

32

4

1998 Feb 13-15

59

37

4

1998 Jan 30-Feb 1

63

35

2

1997

1997 Dec 18-21

50

46

4

1997 Aug 22-25

50

48

2

1997 May 6-7

46

51

3

1997 Jan 10-13

50

47

3

1996

1996 Dec 9-11

43

55

2

1996 Nov 21-24

47

47

6

1996 Oct 26-29

39

56

5

1996 Aug 30-Sep 1

45

50

5

1996 Aug 16-18

38

57

5

1996 May 9-12

37

60

3

1996 Mar 15-17

36

61

3

1996 Mar 8-10

41

56

3

1996 Jan 5-7

24

72

4

1995

1995 Aug 11-14

33

64

3

1995 Jul 7-9

32

65

3

1995 Mar 27-29

30

66

4

1994

1994 Nov 28-29

29

67

4

1994 Nov 2-6

30

66

4

1994 Oct 22-25

31

66

3

1994 Jul 15-17

33

65

2

1994 May 20-22

33

64

3

1994 Apr 22-24

32

65

3

1994 Mar 25-27

35

62

3

1994 Feb 26-28

36

61

3

1994 Jan 15-17

35

62

3

1993

1993 Dec 4-6

34

63

3

1993 Nov 2-4

27

70

3

1993 May 21-23

24

73

3

1993 Feb 12-14

25

71

4

1993 Jan 8-11

29

68

3

1992

1992 Nov 11-12

26

68

6

1992 Aug 28-Sep 2 ‡

22

73

5

1992 Jul 31-Aug 2

17

80

3

1992 Jun 12-14

14

84

2

1992 May 7-10

20

77

3

1992 Apr 20-22 ^

19

80

1

1992 Mar 20-22

19

80

1

1992 Feb 28-Mar 1

21

78

1

1992 Jan 31-Feb 2 ^

24

75

1

1992 Jan 3-6 ^

24

74

2

1991

1991 Dec 5-8

37

60

3

1991 Oct 31-Nov 2

35

62

3

1991 Oct 10-13

39

57

4

1991 Aug 23-25

49

45

6

1991 Jul 11-14

43

50

7

1991 May 23-26

49

49

2

1991 Mar 21-24

52

43

5

1991 Feb 28-Mar 3

66

31

3

1991 Feb 14-17

54

40

6

1991 Jan 17-21

62

33

5

1991 Jan 3-6

32

61

7

1990

1990 Dec 13-16

33

64

3

1990 Nov 1-4

32

64

4

1990 Oct 25-28

31

66

3

1990 Oct 11-14

29

67

4

1990 Sep 27-30

37

58

5

1990 Aug 30-Sep 2

51

44

5

1990 Aug 9-12

43

51

6

1990 Jul 19-22

45

51

4

1990 Feb 8-11

55

39

6

1989

1989 May 4-7

44

50

6

1989 Feb

45

50

5

1988

1988 Sep 25-Oct 1

56

40

4

1988 May 13-15

41

54

5

1987

1987 Aug 24-Sep 2

45

49

6

1986

1986 Dec 4-5 †

47

49

4

1986 Sep 3-17

58

38

4

1986 Jun 9-16

69

26

5

1986 Mar 7-10

66

30

4

1985

1985 Nov 11-18

51

46

3

1984

1984 Dec

52

40

8

1984 Sep 28-Oct 1

48

45

7

1984 Feb 10-13

50

46

4

1983

1983 Aug 5-8

35

59

6

1982

1982 Nov 5-8

24

72

4

1982 Sep 17-20

24

72

4

1982 Apr 2-5

25

71

4

1981

1981 Dec 11-14

27

67

6

1981 Jun 5-8

33

61

6

1981 Jan 9-12

17

78

5

1979

1979 Nov 2-5

19

77

4

1979 Jul 13-16

12

84

4

1979 Feb 2-5

26

69

5

^ = registered voters
† = Gallup/Newsweek
‡ = Gallup/CNN/Knight-Ridder

Gallup http://www.gallup.com/poll/22474/Immigration-Gas-Prices-Climb-Most-Important-Problem-List.aspx Gallup World Headquarters, 901 F Street, Washington, D.C., 20001, U.S.A +1 202.715.3030