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Gallup: Americans more concerned about debt, government than gun control

WASHINGTON • As the media and politicians focus on possible gun control legislation, a tiny minority of Americans say guns and gun control are the nation's most important problems, according to the Gallup Organization.

Only four percent of Americans named guns and gun control as the nation's top problem, the same as in last month's survey, which followed the mass shootings at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., Gallup reported.

For the first time since 2009, unemployment has dropped out of the top two concerns in Gallup's tracking poll, replaced by worries about the economy in general and the federal budget deficit in particular.

The percentage of Americans naming the federal deficit and the way government operates as the top problems facing the country are higher now than they have been since the 1990s and the 1970s, respectively, according to Gallup.

The economy and unemployment had ranked as the top two concerns each month since December 2009.

In third place on January's "most important problem list" is dissatisfaction with government, followed by unemployment.

Four percent mentioned taxes this month, the highest percentage in over two years. And ranking above taxes and gun control was "lack of money."

The "most important problem" responses include the following:

Economy in general 21%

Federal budget deficit 20%

Dissatisfaction with government 18%

Unemployment 16%

Lack of money 5%

Taxes 4%

Guns/gun control 4%

Ethics 4%

Poor healthcare 4%

Immigration 3%

Education 2%

Judicial system 2%

Crime/violence 2%

Foreign aid 2%

Lack of respect for each other 2%


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