Americans increasingly worried about economy as election looms: poll

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Americans have expressed increasing concern with the economy in recent months. The issue is outpaced only by immigration as their top concern.

Seventeen percent of Americans rated the economy as the top problem facing the country, according to a Gallup poll released Monday.

The concern over the economy has steadily risen over the last few months, rising from 12% in January and February to 14% in March before hitting its new recent high in April, the poll found. 

The poll trend comes just months before November’s presidential election, a contest in which the economy figures to play an outsize role in determining who emerges as the winner in a rematch between President Biden and former President Trump.

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President Joe Biden

President Biden (Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

President Biden has in recent months touted an economic comeback, pointing to low unemployment and faster-than-expected GDP growth.

But concerns among Americans remain, with the Gallup poll coming on the heels of a CBS/YouGov poll last that showed voters in key battleground states such as Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania rating the issue as their top concern.

According to Gallup, when combined with inflation and other factors, 36% of Americans see the economy as their top concern.

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Meanwhile, immigration remains the most important individual problem facing the U.S. despite recent drops in illegal border crossings, the poll found.

Twenty-seven percent of Americans rated immigration as the No. 1 issue the country faces, the third consecutive month the issue has topped the list of concerns.

The poll comes even as the number of crossings at the southern border with Mexico have continued to decline in recent months, falling from an all-time high in December, when border agents encountered over 300,000 migrants attempting to cross the border. That number fell to just over 193,000 in March and continued to decline in April, with border agents encountering about 130,000 migrants attempting to enter the country.

photo graphic with empty wallet, red up-arrow on chart

Persistent inflation is one factor weighing on Americans concerned about the state of the economy. (istock)

Speaking to Fox News Digital Tuesday, a White House spokesperson credited a joint effort with Mexico and enhanced U.S. enforcement efforts for turning the tide on the crisis, though many Americans remain unconvinced the issue isn’t a major problem.

According to Gallup, immigration has topped its survey for most important issue four previous times since 2000, but 2024’s stretch of three months is the first time it has remained at the top for successive months. 

Migrants storm border gate in El Paso

A group of over 100 migrants attempts to enter the U.S. illegally by rushing a border wall March 21, 2024. (James Breeden for New York Post/Mega)

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But the issue is also polarizing, Gallup notes, with Republicans being far more likely than Democrats to rate immigration as the top issue. In the latest version of the poll, 48% of Republicans rated immigration as the country’s top issue, while just 8% of Democrats felt the same way. Meanwhile, 25% of independents rated the issue as their top concern.

Other issues at the top of mind for many Americans include the government, with 20% of respondents rating it as the top problem in the country. 

President Biden, left; migrants wade across river, right

President Biden has recently touted the decline in illegal border crossings. (Getty Images)

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Gallup surveyed a sample of 1,001 adults living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia between April 1-22. The survey had a sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Reached for comment by Fox News Digital, a White House spokesperson pointed to recent remarks by White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, who said the administration understands “what Americans have gone through.”

“We also understand that prices are still too high.  They’re still too high, so this is why you hear us talk about junk fees.  This is why you hear us talk about lowering prescription drugs… making sure that big corporations and billionaires pay their fair share,” she said. “And so, we’re going to do more work.  And we’re hoping that message gets through to the American people.”

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