Gallup: Most Americans Say Gov’t Does Too Much; Gap Between Parties Widens

Lauretta Brown | October 11, 2016 | 5:33pm EDT
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(CNSNews.com) – A little over half of Americans believe that the government is doing too much according to a Gallup poll released Monday.

Fifty-four percent of those surveyed said the government is attempting to do too many things that should be left to individuals and businesses, and about four in ten (41 percent) said the government should do more to solve the country’s problems.

While this mirrors a pattern that has been evident for most of the past 24 years, this year’s survey also found a larger than before gap on the issue between Republicans and Democrats.

It found that 82 percent of Republicans thought the government was doing too much while just 24 percent of Democrats shared that view. That margin, 58 points, is the biggest Gallup has measured on this question over the past 15 years.

 

On the overall 54 percent result, Gallup notes that that has been typical of Americans’ responses since 1992. One exception was in late 1992 and early 1993 when “Bill Clinton campaigned for and took over the presidency. At that time, Americans were highly concerned about the economy.”

Another exception was “in October 2001, just after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, when Americans were focused on the government’s response to the most significant domestic terrorist attack in the country’s history.”

Gallup cites historical data from their surveys on this issue over the past 25 years, showing that recently “the public has tilted by at least a small margin toward believing that the government is trying to do too much.”

Since 2009 consistently over half of Americans surveyed held the belief that the government was doing too much.

Apart from the partisan divide, there are also big differences in viewpoints on the government’s role across racial and ethnic population segments. Sixty-two percent of non-Hispanic whites thought the government was doing too much compared to just 29 percent of African Americans and 33 percent of Hispanics.

The poll was “based on telephone interviews conducted Sept. 7-11, 2016, with a random sample of 1,020 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.”

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