Saturday, September 5, 2015

Apparently, we care about nothing

A new CNN/Opinion Research poll says there is no single issue a majority of American see as "extremely important." Wonder why?

Apparently, we care about nothing


This could be a chicken-and-egg thing.

A new CNN/Opinion Research poll shows there is no single public issue that a majority of Americans view as "extremely important."

This is the first time we're seeing such results since before the recession.

Just three years ago, there were three issues viewed as "extremely important:" the economy, the deficit and health care. Not now. And other issues, including taxes, foreign affairs, education and guns are polling as less important than a few years ago.

What happened?

Well, it seems that as the economy, however slowly, improves there is less concern out there. This after years of the economy dominating polls as the nation's number-one issue.

Now it has dropped 10 points from April 2013 to 49 percent. At it's peak in 2009, it pulled 70 percent. A separate Gallup Poll puts concern about the economy at just 41 percent.

Other issues now drawing less than a majority of concern in the CNN poll include education (45 percent), health care policy (44 percent), the federal deficit (43 percent) and illegal immigration (39 percent).

Immigration is the only issue gaining concern.

(You can see the poll results here.)

The Washington Post wonders if all this means that the 2014 midterm elections will be elections "about nothing."

I wonder what came first?

Do we care less about important issues because it's become clear that our elected officials care less about them, given the evidence that they aren't doing anything about them?

Or aren't they doing anything about important issues because it's becoming clear we don't care?





Daily News Political Columnist
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About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at

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