Gallup: Record number of Americans believe gov’t is too powerful

Katie LaPotin, Red Alert Politics, September 24, 2013

While Washington, D.C. prepares for a potential government shutdown next week, Americans have become so frustrated with the nation’s capital that the number of them who believe the federal government has become too powerful has officially reached an all-time high, according to a new Gallup poll.

The poll, which was released Tuesday, found that 60 percent of Americans believe the federal government is too powerful – 1 percent more than the previous high in September 2010. One in three Americans believe the federal government has just enough power, while a mere 7 percent of Americans believe the federal government doesn’t have enough power.

Included in that 60 percent is a whopping 81 percent of Republicans and 65 percent of independents. Even Democrats are starting to believe that the federal government has become too big, with 38 percent of them admitting the government has become too powerful – the highest number recorded by Gallup during Obama’s five-year tenure in office.

These numbers also highlight how polarized American has become politically, as the variances between the three political groups were much smaller during President George W. Bush’s tenure.

Earlier this month, a national study conducted by the polling company inc./WomanTrend for Freedomworks found that 59 percent of likely American voters would prefer a smaller government that only provides a few services than one that is larger and provides lots of services. That number jumped to 65 percent when the issue of taxes is added in to the equation. Even a majority of younger voters prefer a smaller government with fewer services but lower taxes, as 50 percent of all young voters between the ages of 18-24 favor a smaller government with fewer services but lower taxes; the number rises to 64 percent among those aged 25 to 32.

Gallup surveyed 1,510 adults nationwide via telephone from Sept. 5-8, 2013. The margin of error for the study is +/- 3 percentage points at a 95 percent level of confidence. 

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