The Obama administration finally managed to replace a stagnant economy and unemployment as the top worry of Americans in the latest Associated Press—NORC Center for Public Affairs results.

The problem for his legacy is that it was replaced by the Obamacare fiasco. 

The new results do fine one surprising trend, that may benefit the US over the long term; the public's policy priorities and feelings about the role of government to solve major problems has become more jaded and they are looking more toward institutions other than government to show leadership.

This nationally representative survey was conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research between December 12 and 16, 2013, with 1,141 adults 18 and over from the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The overall margin of error is +/- 3.7 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level. 

Key findings of the Survey Include:

  •  Obamacare topped the public's list of problems, mentioned by 52 percent of respondents as one of the top concerns, followed by unemployment (42 percent), the economy in general (39 percent), and the federal deficit (31 percent).   

  •  The White House and Congress have shattered faith in national politics, with the government receiving low marks on its performance in upholding the nation's fundamental principles. For example, 55 percent believe the government is doing a poor job of representing the views of most Americans while only 9 percent say it is doing a good job.

  • Americans are more pessimistic than optimistic on matters such as the nation's ability to produce strong leaders, America's role as a global leader, and the opportunity to achieve the American dream.

  • Most Americans now believe that American institutions such as churches, small and medium-sized businesses, and charitable organizations are doing what they should be doing when it comes to fixing problems.  Taking a hit in the eyes of the public are government, big business, labor unions, and the wealthy.

 "While it is very easy to ask people to choose a single 'most important problem' and to build a list for the answers, the reality is that government has to address many issues at the same time," said Trevor Tompson, director of the AP-NORC Center. "This survey, with data about the public's priorities on a range of policy issues, provides policy makers with rigorous data as they seek to understand the public's outlook on where the country is now and what the action agenda should be for the year ahead."