According to a recent survey by Gallup, a respected polling organization, the four top issues of concern to both self-identifying Democrats and Republicans in the 2016 Presidential election are the economy, terrorism, jobs and healthcare. Although people with different political perspectives disagree on how best to address these problems, most people polled agree that these issues are important areas of ongoing concern. The recent terrorist attack in Brussels is likely to cause a spike in voter concern over terrorism.
There are five issues that are significantly more important to Republican leaning voters than to Democratic leaning ones. They are immigration, the federal budget deficit, taxes, foreign affairs, and the size of the federal government. Democrats, on the other hand, show greater concern than Republicans for education and income inequality.
Some issues that seem controversial but are actually not the top priorities for voters of either party include gun policy, banking regulation, gay marriage, abortion, and climate change.
A survey by Pew Research confirms these conclusions, listing as the top issues of interest to most voters the economy, healthcare, and terrorism, with the federal budget deficit, immigration, and the environment also being considered very important by over half the respondents.
There are many issues that voters consider important in the 2016 presidential election. One of them is the role that the government should play in our lives. Republicans tend to believe there is too much involvement of the government in our lives. They are against the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare. They believe there are too many rules and regulations that businesses must follow. They believe taxes are too high. They feel these programs and policies are harming our country.
Another issue is our foreign policy. There is concern that we haven’t responded quickly enough to deal with the rise of terrorism in the Middle East from ISIS. There is concern about letting refugees from Syria into our country. Some people believe we shouldn’t become friendlier with Cuba. There are questions about the strength of our military. Should we continue to be involved in the Middle East and in Afghanistan? How should we deal with the border issues with Mexico? These are all issues that are involved with our foreign policy.
Our economy is another issue. How should we deal with the enormous debt we have? There are various ideas that include cutting social programs, reducing the size of the government, and possibly raising taxes. Have enough jobs been created? Are those jobs good paying jobs? Are the trade agreements we have with other countries helping or hurting our country? Each side has its own views regarding these issues. Generally, the Republicans disagree with the actions of President Obama. They believe our economy is in crisis and that not enough has been done to create good paying jobs in the United States.
A final issue is a dissatisfaction many people have with our government. The American people seem dissatisfied with our current elected leaders. This helps explain the rise of Donald Trump. It also explains some of the success Bernie Sanders has had. People are looking for individuals who will be able to break through the gridlock that exists in our government at the federal level. They may be looking for people with very different ideas than those that have used in the past.
This election season is already a very interesting one. It will be fascinating to see what happens with the election in November.