According to the latest Reason-Rupe poll, Americans are most concerned that the nation’s next generation of youth may face a weak economy and lack of jobs (45 percent). Their next top concerns are government debt and deficits (17 percent) and gun violence (13 percent). Environmental problems tied for fourth place with concerns about terrorism and war.
Republicans (29 percent) are far more concerned about the impact government debt and deficits will have on their children than Democrats (9 percent). And Democrats are far more concerned about gun violence than are Republicans. Interestingly regular Republicans, Independents and Independent-leaning Democrats are equally likely to be most concerned about the economy and jobs (50 percent), regular Democrats were 9 points less likely to agree. Independent-leaning Republicans were in fact equally concerned about the weak economy (36 percent) and government debt (35 percent).
Ideological groups, based on the Reason-Rupe Ideological Typology, all prioritize concerns about jobs and economy (46 percent), but differ on other concerns. Nearly 30 percent of libertarians and conservatives are most worried about government debt and deficits, compared to only 8 percent of liberals and 11 percent of communitarians. Liberals are the most likely group to be concerned about their children facing environmental problems (15 percent). Communitarians are the most likely group to be worried about gun violence (21 percent).
Men are about twice as likely as women to say they are most concerned about the impact of government debt and deficits affecting their children’s future, whereas women are nearly twice as likely as men to be worried about gun violence. Although all racial groups are most concerned about jobs and the economy, African-Americans are more concerned about gun violence (31 percent) compared to Latinos (15 percent) and Caucasians (10 percent). Angst over gun violence declines with higher income and education levels, while worry over debt and deficits increases. Interestingly, respondents who say they do not attend religious services are equally likely to be concerned about environmental problems as they are about the national debt and budget deficit.
Nationwide telephone poll conducted February 21-25 2013 interviewed 1002 adults on both mobile (502) and landline (500) phones, with a margin of error +/- 3.8%. Columns may not add up to 100% due to rounding. Full poll results found here. Full methodology can be found here.