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Americans Say Domestic Challenges Trump Problems Abroad

By a 3-to-1 margin, Americans say that things happening inside the United States present greater challenges to the country than things happening abroad, according to a new NBC News/ Wall Street Journal/ Annenberg poll.

And the margin is even wider with young people.

Overall, 65 percent of Americans say that the nation’s biggest challenges are domestic, versus 23 percent who say things happening outside the U.S. are more challenging. Eleven percent say both are equally difficult.

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Among adults 18-34, that margin widens to 73 percent citing domestic challenges over 17 percent concerned about international ones. For those 35-49 years old, it’s 70 percent to 21 percent. But for those over 65 years old, just 55 percent believe domestic issues are more challenging, versus 28 percent who cite problems outside the United States.

“If the world is flat, Americans seem most concerned with what is right in from of them and not the broader world,” said Democratic pollster Peter Hart, who helped conduct the survey.

While age impacts how Americans view the tension between problems at home and abroad, political ideology doesn't have as dramatic an effect.

Sixty-five percent of liberals, 63 percent of moderates, 69 percent of conservatives and 67 percent of Tea Party supporters all believe that issues inside the United States are more challenging than those outside the nation’s borders.

The poll of 1,416 adults was conducted July 8-July 14, 2014, and has a margin of error of +/- 3.1%

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