The 3 top-of-mind concerns for Americans at year-end are the economy, jobs, and health care.

The top 3 hasn’t substantially changed since April, when the AP-GfK Poll collected data showing that other issues on Americans’ collective mind included terrorism, the deficit, taxes, energy, and relations with other countries.

We’re ending up the year pretty happy overall — 78% of Americans say they’re “very” or “somewhat” happy as of mid-December. At the same time, 1 in 2 Americans think the U.S. is headed in the “wrong direction,” while 46% say we’re headed right.

Worries about gas prices have somewhat abated, with 2/3 of Americans citing that as important in April to 57% of Americans seeing the issue as important.

The poll was taken between December 10 to the 14th among 1,001 adults and has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points at 95% confidence level.

Health Populi’s Hot Points:
The economy, jobs and health care is the triumvirate of priorities for the mass of Americans – at least 4 in 5 cite these 3 issues as important.

Health is a top issue, but most Americans remain unconvinced about the merits of the health plan emerging out of Congress. This week’s Quinnipiac Poll finds that Americans mostly disapprove of the health plan — 53% to 36%.

However, two aspects cut from the health plan are favored by the majority of Americans: the public option (favored by 56% of Americans) and allowing younger people to buy into Medicare, favored by 64%.

9 in 10 Americans call the economy, “not so good” or “poor.”

Here is the continued opportunity for the President and supporters of health reform to connect the dots between The Economy, writ large, and health care as both an economic engine and a long-term budget deficit driver. The Quinnipiac Poll points out that President Obama still has the confidence of a bulk of Americans when it comes to the economy vs. the Republicans.
As Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, summed it up, Americans “trust the President more than the Republicans to fix things.”