Crime and unemployment are the the dominant issues facing the District of Columbia government, according to results of a WRC-TV4 / Associated Press poll of 439 city residents released yesterday.
In addition to finding that 34 percent of those persons interviewed said crime is the major issue in Washington, the poll indicated that 60 percent said concern for their personal safety has increased in the past year.
The poll also found respondents to be generally pessimistic about the powers of the home rule government, with most saying that Congress and the president have more sway over local affairs than the local government.
While 34 percent of those interviewed said crime is the most important problem facing the city government, 32 percent said the major problem is unemployment and 12 percent pointed to the public schools as a priority. Eight percent cited housing and 5 percent cited welfare. Nine percent of the voters said they were not sure which of the issues was most important.
The results are from a telephone poll conducted Sunday, Feb. 28. Other results from that same poll, released last week, indicated that a majority of District voters want Mayor Marion Barry replaced, and that among the announced candidates for mayor, former Carter administration Cabinet secretary Patricia Roberts Harris and Barry are the front-running Democrats.
However, since the voters polled included some Republicans and independents as well as Democrats, the poll can be considered only a rough gauge of the current standings in the race for the Democratic mayoral nomination. There is a 6 percent margin of error in the poll's findings.