Even with the tumultuous 2018 midterm elections over and done with, immigration and illegals have surged to the top of Americans’ list of concerns.
Healthcare also jumped as a major public concern this month. But nowhere near as much as immigration and illegal aliens. They were mentioned by only 13 percent in October. Now, that issue rides atop the list of major concerns at 21 percent, according to a new Gallup Poll.
That’s a virtual tie with the record high of 22 percent in July of last summer.
With news coverage expected to increase again as the so-called caravan reaches the southwestern U.S. border, it would be a safe bet to expect President Trump to bring it up in tweets and remarks.
He pushed its politicization strongly during the fall campaign as a “national emergency” that required the movement of some 5,000 troops to strengthen border security.
And Trump will no doubt raise the subject again, especially as the lame-duck session of Congress before year’s end or the new one starting in early January with a Democratic House tackles or dodges the subject of financing the president’s revered border wall.
The immigration and illegal immigration issues are of special concern to Republicans, 37 percent of whom list them as their top worry. That’s an increase of a whopping 17 percent in just one month.
No other group has anywhere near that level of concern. Less than half as many independents (17 percent) say immigration is their top concern, while Democrats virtually dismiss it at 10 percent.
Healthcare as a major concern climbed from six percent in October to 11 percent in November. All groups displayed a small increase in concern.
Overall, government and some aspect of its leadership showed a marked drop in concern across all groups from October. Only 18 percent say it’s their biggest concern now, down from 27 percent.
But again, the split reflects differing ideologies. Although concern with government and dissatisfaction with political leadership has been a major concern for at least a decade, the decline in concern in the past month was sharpest among Republicans (down to 14 percent). Independents were at 18 percent and Democrats at 22 percent.
About 35 percent of Americans are currently satisfied with the direction of the country.
That satisfaction jumped this year, the second of the Trump administration, and has run in the 33 and 37 percent range, with two months (October and June) recording a 12-year record high satisfaction of 38 percent.
The average satisfaction for 2018 is 34 percent, a significant increase from 27 percent in Trump’s first year.
Again, Republicans are much more satisfied with the country’s direction (63 percent), than are independents (37 percent) and unhappy Democrats, who are wallowing down there with only eight percent satisfaction.