Wisconsinites view climate change, health care, race relations, income and wealth distribution and excessive government regulations as the biggest problems facing the state.

Meanwhile, the state’s residents see climate change, the federal budget deficit, income and wealth distribution, race relations and health care as the biggest problems for the nation as a whole.

That’s according to a new survey from UW-Madison’s La Follette School of Public Affairs, which mailed an eight-page survey to 5,000 residents to gauge their opinions on these and other issues. The survey was in the field from July 14 to September 24.

Nearly 1,600 residents answered the survey, which has a margin of error of 2.5 percent for the full sample.

For issues facing Wisconsin, 27 percent said climate change was an extremely big problem, while 25 percent said the same for health care, 24 percent for race relations, 20 percent for income and wealth distribution, and 17 percent for too much government regulation.

Nationally, 39 percent said climate change was an extremely big problem, while 37 percent gave the same rating for the federal budget deficit, 36 percent for income and wealth distribution, 35 percent for race relations and 35 percent for health care.

Responses, however, differed by party affiliation. For example, 65 percent of Democrats saw climate change as an extremely big problem at the federal level, while just 31 percent of independents and 11 percent of Republican did so. Conversely, 57 percent of Republicans rated the federal budget deficit was as an extremely big problem, while 43 percent of independent and just 19 percent of Democrats did the same.

In a release, professor Susan Webb Yackee, the school’s director, noted that for all issues, Wisconsinites view the problems as more of a concern at the federal level compared to the state level.

“Wisconsinites—and I mean all Wisconsinites, Democrats, Republicans and Independents—view public policy issues as more problematic in the U.S. overall than in our state,” she said. “This suggests that a national lens on public policy issues like healthcare, climate change, the budget deficit and government regulation might get folks more engaged and make them more likely to vote.”

Other areas the survey addressed included confidence in government, political activities respondents engaged in, and concerns about finances, racial issues, water quality and more.

See more from the survey here.

See a release on the poll here.

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