WORTHINGTON, OH--(Marketwire - March 8, 2011) - 80.3% of Registered Voters agree that the increase in gas prices is one of the worst problems affecting the United States, according to the latest American Pulse™ Survey of 5,224 respondents. Unemployment (80.4%) was the #1 problem, and the weak economy, national debt and rising food prices rounded out the top five.

What do you think are the worst problems currently affecting the United States? (Check all that apply) 

Registered Voters    
Unemployment 80.4%  
Rising gas prices 80.3%  
Weak economy 70.6%  
National debt 69.4%  
Rising food prices 61.9%  

Source: American Pulse™ Mar-11

When asked to pick the absolute worst problem, Americans ranked unemployment first, followed by the weak economy, national debt, rising gas prices and illegal immigration.

For a complimentary report, including a full list of problems: http://www.formsite.com/prosper/ampulse030811

It is no surprise the rise in gas prices is viewed as a major problem -- 68.4% of Voters say their spending and driving habits have been influenced by high gas prices, and 93.0% expect pump prices to continue to increase through March.

One proposed solution to this crisis is to drill for oil in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico. 2 in 3 Voters (66.4%) somewhat or strongly agree that the United States should drill its own oil. There appears to be general agreement across party lines as well, as over half of each party somewhat or strongly agree:

Do you agree that the U.S. should be exploiting its own oil resources by drilling in the Gulf and in Alaska?

    Registered Voters  
  Republicans  Democrats Independent/Other  
Somewhat/Strongly Agree 77.8% 57.3% 65.1%  
Neutral 12.3% 21.4% 18.4%  
Somewhat/Strongly Disagree 9.9% 21.3% 16.5%  

Source: American Pulse™ Mar-11

This agreement on drilling U.S. oil may be the result of conflicts in the Middle East. 82.9% of Republicans are somewhat/very concerned that turmoil in Libya will have a direct affect on the price of gas in the U.S. 75.6% of Democrats and 76.2% of Independents/Others agree.

How is the President doing with solving the many problems in the U.S.? Find out in this special SlideShare report: http://www.formsite.com/prosper/SS030811  

American Pulse™
The American Pulse™ Survey is collected online by BIGresearch® twice a month exclusively utilizing SSI's U.S. panel covering topics such as politics, pop culture and the economy. 5,224 respondents participated in the 2nd February American Pulse conducted 2/28-3/2/2011. Margin of error is +/- 1.4%. www.bigresearch.com

Survey Sampling International (SSI)
Survey Sampling International (www.surveysampling.com) is the premier global provider of sampling solutions for survey research. SSI reaches respondents in 72 countries via Internet, telephone and mobile/wireless. Client services include questionnaire design consultation, programming and hosting, and data processing. SSI serves more than 2,000 clients, including 48 of the top 50 research organizations. Founded in 1977, SSI has 17 offices in 15 countries.

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Chrissy Wissinger