Ticking Clock, Divided Nation: Top Voter Concerns in 2024

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As usual, people are focusing their attention on the economy in the annual Associated Press/NORC survey of public priorities.

In the poll, respondents were asked to list up to five topics that they believed should be at the top of the federal government’s agenda for 2024. Three out of every four respondents selected the economy as one issue that the federal government should focus on in 2024.

The poll also found that concerns over immigration and foreign affairs are on the rise. In December, twice as many respondents ranked foreign policy among their top five concerns as they did in 2022. In 2022, only 27% of respondents ranked immigration as important. This year it was 35%.

In foreign policy, the partisan divide was particularly evident.

AP-NORC:

Foreign policy is now a greater concern than in previous years due to the ongoing wars taking place in Ukraine and Gaza. After several close calls with a government shutdown in 2023 the debt limit, and government spending have become a priority for 2024.

Both Democrats and Republicans list immigration, foreign policy, and inflation as their top priorities, but they differ in other areas. Democrats are most concerned with climate change, the environment, health care reform, and education. Republicans place the economy and government debt at the top of their list.

The public is not confident in the ability of the federal government to address their concerns, despite having a broad agenda. Seventy-one percent of respondents have little faith in the federal government’s ability to address important issues that will face the country by 2024. 40% are completely unconfident.

It’s not surprising that the public wants their government to place more emphasis on foreign policy. It may surprise some people that only 34% of Democrats believe that foreign policy is the main concern of government, compared to 16% last year, and 46% of Republicans.

It’s almost like Democrats don’t care about foreign policy when they look at the party in power, with a president who sends $100 billion worth of arms to Israel and Ukraine to combat aggressors.

There’s also a serious lapse of memory when it comes to immigration.

Associated Press:

The poll revealed that overall, concerns about immigration increased to 35% compared to 27% in the previous year. The majority of Republicans (55%) believe that the government should focus on immigration by 2024. Meanwhile, 22% list immigration as a top priority. This is up from 45% in December 2022 and 14% in December 2024.

Janet Brewer, who has lived in San Diego all her life, just across the border from Tijuana in Mexico, said that the situation at the border has worsened over the past few years.

Brewer, who is 69 and works part-time after having run a small business in secretarial, legal, and medical transcription, said, “It’s an absolute disaster.” “It’s crazy.”

The poll shows that the American public is much smarter than politicians or pundits. The American people are not going to be swayed by what is vitally important. Only 21% of Americans, including less than 40% of Democrats, named climate change as the top priority for government. The Biden administration spent half a billion dollars on climate change.