Six in 10 Americans (60%) believe the federal government has too much power, one percentage point above the previous high recorded in September 2010. At least half of Americans since 2005 have said the government has too much power. Thirty-two percent now say the government has the right amount of power. Few say it has too little power.
These most recent data come from Gallup’s Governance survey, conducted Sept. 5-8. The 7% who feel the government has too little power has been mostly steady since Gallup started tracking the measure regularly in 2002.
This new high encompasses Republicans (81%), who are now more likely than at any time since 2002 to say the government has too much power, and Democrats (38%), who now are more likely to say this than at any time since President Barack Obama took office in 2009.
Republicans, Democrats, and independents have each grown more likely to say government is too powerful this year. However, Republicans’ and Democrats’ views have generally become more polarized since Obama took office. In 2002, the two parties were about equally likely to view the federal government as too powerful, at 36% and 35%, respectively, with independents, at 45%, most likely to say this
The record number of Republicans who are dissatisfied with the status quo and creeped out by the size and reach of government might want to let their feelings be reflected in their voting habits soon. The GOP has been overrun by big government, bureaucracy-first statists for a couple of decades now. The party can win back the Senate next year and still see nothing change if Mitch McConnell is still in leadership.
The reason we go through these bouts of drama like what we’re seeing with the defund Obamacare fight is that we still have people in power who are, for the most part, part of the “yield completely but call it compromise” crowd. SO rather than having coherent debates about what is best for the people we end up arguing about what is best for the party.