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Gallup: Ebola Joins List of Americans' Top Concerns

Gallup: Ebola Joins List of Americans' Top Concerns

By Adam O'Neal - October 21, 2014

Ebola is becoming a major campaign issue -- and new data from Gallup polling sheds some light on why. 

While the economy, jobs, and dissatisfaction with government continue to top Gallup’s list of issues Americans are most concerned with, the Ebola virus just debuted on the collection of the nation’s top problems. 

Five percent of Americans now consider Ebola (and diseases more broadly) as “the most important problem facing this country today,” according to a new survey. That’s the same percentage concerned with the federal budget deficit and debt; ethical and moral decline; ISIS; and education. 

Other issues still dominate. Some 17 percent of Americans are most concerned with the economy in general. Sixteen percent say government generally, and 10 percent rate unemployment and jobs as their top issue. Eight percent indicated that health care was most important to them. 

Immigration -- which captured national headlines during the unaccompanied minor crisis on the southern border -- has declined since the summer. Just 7 percent of Americans say it’s their top issue, down from 17 percent in July. 

While Gallup’s survey provides helpful information about broad, national trends, it doesn’t necessarily provide an accurate reflection of the electorate in swing states, where the battle for control of the Senate is playing out. 

The poll of 1,017 random adults was conducted Oct. 12-15 and has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.

Adam O'Neal is a political reporter for RealClearPolitics. He can be reached at aoneal@realclearpolitics.com. Follow him on Twitter @RealClearAdam.

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