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              Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., at podium, about immigration reform legislation outlined by the Senate

Gallup: Americans not very concerned about gun violence, immigration reform

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Caroline May
Political Reporter

In a list of 12 priorities for leaders in Washington, Americans ranked gun violence and immigration reform at the very bottom, as the 11th and 12th priorities, respectively.

The Gallup survey released Tuesday reveals that two of the major issues dominating headlines and the attention of lawmakers are not the issues most Americans rank as a top or high priority. The top priorities for Americans, according to the survey are “creating more jobs” and “helping the economy grow,” both with 86 percent of Americans saying those issues should be the number one priorities.

About half of Americans said that “reducing gun violence” and “reforming immigration” should be a top or high priority, about 30 percentage points less than the economy and jobs.

Other topics that draw decisively more public support than the two issues that have mesmerized official Washington this year include reforming Social Security and Medicare, improving education, fixing government inefficiency, reforming the tax code and cutting the deficit.

The poll Gallup conducted from May 4-5 of 1,021 Americans revealed that Republicans and Democrats were relatively similar in their rankings for most issues — except for issues of health care and gun violence.

Where 40 percent of Republicans ranked gun violence as a top or high priority, 73 percent of Democrats did. On “reducing the costs of healthcare “ and “improving access to healthcare” Republicans and Democrats were similarly divided, with double digit percentage point gaps in their ranking selections.

“Still, despite this interest-group pressure, when the views of all Americans are averaged together, reducing gun violence and immigration reform receive the lowest priority rankings of the 12 issues tested,” Gallup’s Frank Newport wrote in analyzing the survey.

“Instead, Americans would urge their elected representatives to focus on creating jobs, improving the economy, making the government run more efficiently, and improving the quality of education,” he added.

The survey has a margin of +/- 4 percentage points.

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