In Their Words: What Is the Biggest Problem Facing Americans Today?


The latest Reason-Rupe poll asked respondents to use their own words to describe the biggest problem facing Americans today. Most listed something related to the economy, jobs, and government spending. However a substantial number also mentioned political division, big government, greed, and morality. The graphic below displays the percentage of respondents who mentioned the following issues as America's biggest problems.

Another way to visually display these results is in a tag cloud. The following graphic depicts those same responses with word size corresponding to frequency. The bigger the word, the more people who mentioned that issue.

Click here for full survey results. 

Survey Methods

The Reason-Rupe Q3 2011 poll collected a nationally representative sample of 1200 respondents, aged 18 and older from all 50 states and the District of Columbia using live telephone interviews from August 9-18 2011. The margin of sampling error for this poll is ± 3 percent. The margin of error for the GOP presidential race numbers is ± 4.79 percent. Interviews were conducted with respondents using both landline (790) and mobile phones (410). Landline respondents were randomly selected within households based on the adult who had the most recent birthday. Sample was weighted by gender, age, ethnicity, and Census region, based on the most recent US Census data. The sampling frame included landline and mobile phone numbers generated using Random Digit Dialing (RDD) methods and randomly selected numbers from a directory-listed sample. Clickhere for full methodological details. NSON Opinion Strategy conducted the poll's fieldwork. View full methodology