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Republicans and Democrats’ Views on the Largest Threat to Public Health Couldn’t Be More Different

Republicans and Democrats across the nation have very different views on what is the current largest threat to American public health, and the data favors the GOP.

The Axios-Ipsos poll indicates that 37% of Republicans believe the use of opioids, particularly fentanyl, is the greatest risk, and 35% of Democrats believe gun violence is the largest threat. Nearly 20,000 more people died from opioid overdoses per year in 2020 than die at the hands of gun violence, PEW research data revealed.

In 2020, 91,799 people died by overdose and 68,630 of those deaths involved opioids, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The same year, 45,222 people died from “gun-related injuries,” according to the PEW data.

Only 4% of Republicans view gun violence as the largest threat to public health, and 17% of Democrats see opioids as the biggest issue.

Both parties see obesity as a threat to public health, with 25% of Republicans and 17% of Democrats, and the only data point the partisans agree on is alcohol abuse, amounting to 1% of both parties’ concern.

By and large, the top three public health threats Americans see are opioids, obesity and gun violence, with 26%, 21% and 17% respectively, according to Axios.

Those who feel opioids are a major health concern were mostly individuals that did not have a college degree, and more individuals who lived in or near the city said gun violence was a concern as opposed to rural residents, Axios reported. More college educated individuals believe obesity is a public health threat than those who did not attend college.

In 2021, cancer and heart disease were the two primary causes of death in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The poll surveyed 1,213 U.S. adults, was taken from Feb. 17 – 21 and the margin of error was +/- 3.0 percentage points.

Post written by Mary Lou Masters. Republished with permission from DCNF. Images via Becker News.

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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.