A new Gallup poll finds Iraq continues to be Americans' top priority for the president and Congress, followed by fuel prices, and immigration policy.
Over the past month, Americans have become increasingly likely to say fuel and oil prices and the war in Iraq should be the government's top priorities. Twenty-nine percent of Americans in April said the war in Iraq should be the top priority, and now, 42% feel this way. There has also been a 16-point increase in mentions of fuel prices, up from 13% in April to 29% now. More Americans now say fuel prices should be the top priority than immigration, which showed only a slight increase from 20% in April to 23% in May.
There is of course a significant partisan divide over where the president and Congress should be focusing their attention:
Republicans have three top issues: the current situation in Iraq, immigration, and fuel or oil prices, with between 30% and 37% mentioning each. Among Democrats, the war in Iraq is, by far, the most salient issue, with nearly half of Democrats mentioning it.
Republicans are more likely than Democrats to mention immigration (33% vs. 14%), while Democrats are more likely than Republicans to mention the war in Iraq (47% vs. 37%), the economy (17% vs. 10%), and healthcare (12% vs. 7%). Republicans mention fuel or oil prices more frequently than Democrats, though these differences fall within the margin of error for this survey.
Since April, there has been an increase among both party groups in mentions of Iraq and fuel prices. Mentions of Iraq increased from 25% to 36% among Republicans and from 31% to 47% among Democrats, while the percentage saying fuel prices rose from 14% to 30% among Republicans and from 14% to 26% among Democrats. Republicans are also slightly more likely to mention immigration this month, up from 27% to 33%, but there has been little change among Democrats, from 15% to 14%.
I am surprised that twice as many Republicans mentioned Immigration than did Democrats.
The poll was conducted May 22-24, 2006 and has a margin of error of ±3 percent.