According to 13 issues Gallup measured in their March poll, 71% of Americans say they worry about the economy "a great deal," more than they worry about 13 other issues. 64% worry a great deal about federal spending and the budget deficit. Gallup has tracked 10 of the 14 items measured this year every year since 2001, except for 2009.
Federal spending/the deficit as well as the size and power of the federal government are new to the list this year.
The economy and unemployment were top-ranking concerns for Republicans, Independents, and Democrats and will undoubtedly be the number one issue for any elections held in the next 12 to 18 months. Having completed several focus groups with likely voters over the past few weeks, I can definitely attest to the strength of the jobs issue and its potential impact on the next cycle of elections.