Temperature check - Our biggest concerns right now. Gun Control has surged
Bottom Line: It's not the biggest concern in our society today but gun control along with violence and crime is showing up as a concern for a majority of Americans for just the third time over the past twenty years. Gallup does a monthly temperature check on the issues we're most concerned about in our country and there's a familiar theme at the top but plenty of changes just below it.
#1 Healthcare - 55% concerned. No surprise here. It's not getting any cheaper and comprehensive reform is still desired by most Americans
#2 Crime/Violence - Federal spending - Availability of guns - 51%. So, all of these are concerns of a majority of Americans. All three are above 50% for the first time in a long time driven by news of the day. The violence and gun control go hand in hand in the wake of the Parkland shooting (along with the Austin bombing and Maryland school shooting). The concerns over federal spending are on back of the Omnibus spending bill.
#5 Drug abuse - 45%. This is clearly driven by concerns of the opioid crisis and the proliferation of illegal drugs in our society.
Except for healthcare, the top five all are growing concerns. This is even more relevant in an election year and anytime there are issues that're concerns of a majority of Americans - you'd better bet that there are politicians that will exploit those issues and the opportunities presented by those concerns. Ironically, aside from the long-standing healthcare concerns, there's a big silver lining on what's not among the top concerns. Jobs and economic issues aside from the cost of healthcare.
The availability of jobs, the top issue for most of the previous decade, is all the way down to 15th on the list of our collective concerns. Looking at the top issues, only one of which has an economic component to it, is as strong of an indication of how improved our economy is as any other economic metric you'll find.