Just 1% of Americans view Russia as top problem – poll

Moscow is far behind the US government, inflation, the economy, and immigration among major concerns, a new survey shows

Image Credits: Getty Images / donfiore.

Less than 1% of Americans listed Russia as the top problem facing the US during the second half of 2022, according to a Gallup poll published on Tuesday. The survey revealed that the chief issue for most respondents is the nation’s own government. 

An average of 19% of those surveyed throughout 2022 rated “government” as the “most important problem,” followed by “inflation” (16%) and “the economy” (12%).  

The percentage of Americans viewing Russia as the primary issue facing the country did jump from 2% to 9% from February to March following the launch of Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine, but that figure had dipped back to 5% by April, and it has remained at 1% or below for the last five months, even as Washington pumped tens of billions of dollars into military aid for Kiev. Read more Support for Ukraine waning in US – poll

The US government has dominated Gallup’s “most important problem” polling for most of the last decade, only briefly being dislodged in 2020 by the Covid-19 pandemic. The disease regained some of the public’s attention in early 2022, having been mentioned by 20% of respondents in January.

However, on average it failed to surpass the leaders in Washington and has not cracked 1% for over six months, leaving it in sixth place in the year’s overall list of issues – behind immigration and “unifying the country.” 

Americans are on the whole less satisfied with the direction of their country than they have been since 2011, with just 18% expressing optimism about where things are going. This is just the fourth time since 1979 that national satisfaction has dipped below 20%. According to Gallup, this year’s decline was largely driven by a 14-point drop in outlook among Democrats, only 31% of whom now view the country’s trajectory positively.  

Republicans’ outlook, already bleak following the inauguration of President Joe Biden last year, has further declined – just 4% now see a positive future for the US. Those not backing either of the two parties have also seen their optimism drop to the point where just 19% are now satisfied with the country’s direction. 

Despite this dismal outlook among the electorate, last month’s midterm elections did not hand Republicans control of Congress, though the party did win a majority in the House of Representatives. Biden’s approval ratings have remained at 40% as of this month.