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Posted at 10:47 AM ET, 02/25/2011

Public opinion on the biggest economic worries

By Peyton M. Craighill

The Commerce Department reported Friday that the economy expanded in the 4th quarter of 2010 more slowly than first thought. That's bad news for people looking for relief from three years of a very tough economy, and sure to keep the economy atop the priority list. But not all Americans have the same economic concerns.

In a new Washington Post-Kaiser-Harvard poll about their top economic concern, the public overall splits between the job situation, the federal budget deficit and the cost of health care. Just over two in 10 call each the top concern. Responses vary greatly by race and ethnicity, with partisan identification playing a lead role.

The job situation is the top economic concern for 36 percent of African Americans and 37 percent of Hispanics. That's not a surprising choice for two groups suffering high unemployment levels, 15.7 percent for blacks and 11.9 percent for Hispanics in the latest government figures.

But whites have a different No. 1 concern: 27 percent cite the federal budget deficit as their top worry. Only 5 percent of blacks and 9 percent of Hispanics call the deficit the top economic problem.

Unemployment is significantly lower among whites at 8 percent and so are fears about jobs, and 20 percent call it their top worry in the poll. Similar numbers of whites, blacks and Hispanics say the cost of health care is their biggest concern, about two in 10 for each group.

Fears over the rising budget deficit among whites are driven largely by partisanship. A third of white independents and three in 10 white Republicans say the deficit is their top concern. But that slides to just 17 percent among white Democrats. In that group, the No. 1 problem is split between jobs, at 28 percent, and the cost of health care, at 29 percent.

Q: Which of the following national economic issues worries you most?

               Whites   Blacks   Hispanics
Job situation    20       36        37 
Budget deficit   27        5         9
Health care      21       21        20 
Rising prices    16       22        17
Housing/finance   7        7        10
Other mentions    7        6         6

                 ---  Among Whites ----
                 Dem      Rep       Ind   
Job situation    28       17        18 
Budget deficit   17       30        33
Health care      29       18        19 
Rising prices    17       17        13
Housing/finance   4        8         7
Other mentions    5        8         9

By Peyton M. Craighill  | February 25, 2011; 10:47 AM ET
Categories:  Economy, Race  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Unions and the Obama administration
Next: The politics of blame, shutdown edition


Knowing that I'm coming here a bit late, and seeing no commnets, could you please assist me?

Does anyone know where to look to find out how much the legistalors receive after they depart from "public service"? I am told they receive a very generous stipend even if they are not in office.

I'll be watching for a reply, or you can send a note to my address, whicch is on file with the Washington Post sign in for this comment. Sincerely,

Posted by: papamckie | February 28, 2011 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Public and private have to trade or there will be...

Dana Milbank of the Washington Post
is a prolific writer and tolerant of comments.

I thank him for writing; i enjoy his writing.

Comments such as those found in Blogs and Posts remind me of what you are refering to

a third party between Public and Private

Posted by: kadija1 | March 2, 2011 9:32 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: kadija1 | March 2, 2011 9:34 AM | Report abuse

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