The country’s biggest problem? Our government.

October 9, 2013

One in three Americans (33 percent) say dysfunctional government is the country's biggest problem right now, according to a new Gallup poll. That's an all-time high and enough to surpass the economy as the country's top concern.

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It's pretty clear that the jump in concern about government is tied to the standoffs over the government shutdown and the debt ceiling. Last month, 16 percent of Americans cited government dysfunction as the top problem -- less than half of the percentage who say the same thing now.

Nineteen percent now say the economy is the nation's top problem.

What's clear from the data is that (1) the country is not happy with the way its leaders are conducting their business and (2) their actions are coming to be viewed as a genuine problem, not merely a minor snag.

As we've written before about polls showing this level of concern or dissatisfaction, the question is when and if lawmakers will feel enough pressure from their constituents to compromise and budge from long-held positions.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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Sean Sullivan · October 9, 2013