The most important problem facing the country today

The most important problem facing the country today

November 1, 2020

The latest survey conducted by the multi-university COVID-19 Consortium for Understanding the Public’s Policy Preferences Across States, led in part by Shorenstein Center faculty Matthew Baum wanted to find out which issues are, or will be, on voters’ minds as they enter the voting booth on or before
November 3rd.

You can read the full report here.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the most highly cited issue is COVID-19, mentioned as the top problem facing the nation by nearly one third (32%) of all respondents nationally. While the percentages vary widely, from a low of 13% in Wyoming and Alaska, to highs of 44% and 42% in the District of Columbia and Hawaii, respectively, COVID-19 was the number one problem mentioned by respondents in every state except Alaska, where climate change comes out on top.

When the team focused on state-level responses regarding the most important problem, there was a variety of issues other than COVID-19 . The results show that majorities of respondents in 43 of the 50 states selected one of three issues: racism (17 states), crime and violence (18 states), and healthcare (8 states). These responses also varied across ethnicities and ages of people who participated in the surveys.