Poll: D.C. politics named as top threat to the U.S. economy ahead of North Korea

A new survey has found that American adults consider the political environment in Washington, D.C. to be the biggest risk to the U.S. economy over the next six months. 

According to Bankrate.com which commissioned the poll, the view was echoed across a wide range of demographics including “by old and young, rich and poor, and college graduates as well as those with a high school education or less.” 

Politics ranked first with 36 percent while North Korea followed at 24 percent; rising interest rates, terrorism, and a stock market decline each scored 10 percent or less. 

That said, Ted Rossman with Bankrate has indicated some variability behind the numbers, telling Newsweek, “Democrats, college graduates and middle-income households have the strongest distaste for what’s happening in the nation’s capital. Three groups are more likely to fear North Korea than domestic politics: Republicans, Hispanics and Southerners.”

In fact, nearly half, or 49 percent, of Democrats surveyed chose politics as the greatest economic threat, more than double the number of Republicans who picked that risk factor.

And North Korea was the top choice among self-described conservatives at 30 percent compared to just 20 percent from their more liberal counterparts. 

RELATED: A timeline of tension with North Korea

Countdown to a standoff: A timeline of tension with North Korea
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Countdown to a standoff: A timeline of tension with North Korea

Jan. 6, 2016:

After four years in power, Kim Jong Un says his country can produce a hydrogen bomb, the first step toward a nuclear weapon that could target the United States. The nation tests a device, but Western experts are not convinced it is a genuine hydrogen bomb.

Feb. 7, 2016:

North Korea sends up a satellite. The United States calls this a disguised test of an engine powerful enough to launch an ICBM.

March 9, 2016:

North Korea claims it can miniaturize a nuclear device to fit onto a missile.

June 23, 2016:

North Korea says it has successfully tested an intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM), with a range of 2,000 to 3,400 miles. Kim Jong Un claims the country can now attack "Americans in the Pacific operation theater," including the territory of Guam.

Sept. 9, 2016:

North Korea conducts its fifth and largest nuclear test on the anniversary of the country's founding. It says it has mastered the ability to mount a warhead on a ballistic missile.

April 15, 2017:

North Korea reveals a new ICBM design, displaying the missiles at a military parade to mark the birthday of founding leader Kim Il Sung. Within three months, the missiles are tested.

July 4, 2017:

North Korea tests an ICBM for the first time, saying it can launch a missile that can reach the continental United States. The missile, Hwasong-14, is tested again three weeks later, this time in a night launch.

Aug. 8, 2017:

North Korea's army threatens to fire missiles towards Guam in an "enveloping fire." The message comes hours after President Donald Trump warns Pyongyang that it will be "met with fire and fury" if North Korea does not stop threatening the United States.

Aug. 23, 2017:

North Korea publishes photographs of Kim beside a diagram of what appears to be a new ICBM. Weapons experts say it will be more powerful than the missiles tested by Pyongyang in July, and could have Washington and New York within range.

Aug 29, 2017:

North Korea fires an intermediate range missile over northern Japan, prompting warnings to residents to take cover. The missile falls into the Pacific Ocean, but sharply raises tensions in the region.


The Bankrate survey was conducted from September 21 to 24 with 1,002 adults in the U.S.

Meanwhile, a recent poll from CNN found that the majority of Americans—63 percent—expressed an overall positive view of the economy. 

The figure not only represented a 15 percent jump from November, but it was also the most optimistic response since 2001. 

“Virtually no President has accomplished what we have accomplished in the first 9 months-and economy roaring,” President Trump boasted about the strong economy Wednesday.

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