New poll lists top priorities for Americans as Biden administration begins

November General Election 2020

President-elect Joe Biden pauses as he delivers a televised address to the nation, after the U.S. Electoral College formally confirmed his victory over President Donald Trump in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, from Biden’s transition headquarters at the Queen Theater in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., (December 14, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo)

Washington, D.C. (AP)-A new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds that containing the coronavirus outbreak and repairing the economic damage it has inflicted are the top priorities for Americans as Joe Biden prepares to become the 46th president.

Overall, 53% of Americans name COVID-19 as one of the top five issues they want the government to tackle this year, and 68% mention the economy, which is still reeling from the outbreak. Those priorities far outpace others, like foreign affairs, immigration, climate change or racial inequality. However, racial inequality has moved up in the poll, with 24% citing race relations as a priority. In 2019, only 10% cited it as a priority for the coming year.

The poll also finds about 4 in 10 Americans mention health care separate from COVID-19. About a third mentioned foreign policy issues, and roughly as many named politics as a top problem to address this year.

The poll showed some optimism. A majority of Americans, 55%, said they expect the year ahead to be better than 2020 for them personally – more optimism than one and two years ago. A similar share, 54%, said they expect the year ahead to be better for the country as a whole.

The poll was conducted from December 3rd through 7th,with a margin of error of 3.9%.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.