Voters want government to address economy, health costs

By WND Staff

President Donald Trump addressing the nation about border security on Jan. 8, 2019 (video screenshot)
President Donald Trump addressing the nation about border security on Jan. 8, 2019 (video screenshot)

A survey by Pew Research ahead of President Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday night shows voters want the federal government to focus on the economy and health costs.

But they also put the border-security issue on which Trump campaigned in the top 10.

Education, terrorism, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid also are in the top 10.

“A majority of Americans (58 percent) continue to oppose substantially expanding the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in January. While opinion on the wall was little changed from last year, partisan views were more divided than ever: Republican support for the wall was at a record high and Democratic support was at a new low,” Pew said.

“A greater share of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (69 percent) said this year that expanding the wall would lead to a major reduction in illegal immigration than said so in 2017 (58 percent). Most Democrats and Democratic leaners, on the other hand, said a wall expansion would not have much impact on illegal immigration into the U.S.,” the report said.

“A majority of Americans (58 percent) said they were not too or not at all confident in Trump’s ability to make wise decisions about immigration policy, according to the same January survey. Still, around half of U.S. adults (51 percent) said immigration should be a top priority for Trump and Congress this year, though Republicans (68 percent) were much more likely than Democrats (40 percent) to say this. Similarly, in a survey conducted in November, most Republicans and Republican leaners (68 percent) said reducing illegal immigration into the U.S. should be a top foreign policy priority, while just two-in-ten Democrats and Democratic leaners said this.”

The report said many want to see cooperation between Trump and Congress. The current budget impasse, which caused the partial government shutdown, is over the Democrats’ refusal to allocate $5.7 billion for border security.

“Seven-in-ten Democrats said their party’s leaders should stand up to Trump on issues important to Democrats, even if less gets done in Washington, according to the January survey. Republicans were more divided: While around half (51 percent) said Trump should stand up to Democrats, 42 percent said he should work with Democrats to get things done, even if it disappoints supporter,” the report said.

Most Americans believe the two major parties in Washington will “bicker and oppose one another more than usual this year.”

Barely over half of Americans think FBI special counsel Robert Mueller is doing a fair investigation. The two parties were far apart on the question.

On tariffs, the country is split on whether they are good for the country.

“About half (51 percent) of Americans are at least somewhat confident in Trump’s ability to negotiate favorable trade agreements with other countries. Public views of Trump in this domain are more positive than in many other areas,” the report said.

The economy remains a concern, and 40 percent say Trump’s policies have made economic conditions better.

The survey also shows that defending the country against terrorism remains a top priority for many, but concern over climate change rests mostly within Democratic Party members.

Democrats see global warming as a priority by 67 percent to 21 percent, Pew said.

Both sides agreed that cutting health costs is a priority, and barely half of Democrats said race relations should be a top priority. Among Republicans, concern was even lower.

Gender issues drew even less concern from both members of both parties.

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