January 23, 2014

Well, at least they know

Two thirds of Americans, according to a new Gallup poll, think that the United States government is too big and powerful.

In Gallup's own words:
One reason Americans are dissatisfied with how the government system is working is that they believe it is too big and powerful. Two-thirds of Americans (66%) are unhappy with the size and power of the federal government. These views potentially hamper President Barack Obama's ability to propose large-scale government solutions in his State of the Union speech next week. However, this problem is not a new one for the president. Roughly two-thirds of Americans have expressed this view consistently since at least 2011, after the measure jumped a full 10 points between 2008 and 2011.
That fails to explain how Democrats continue to hold a disproportionate (i.e. more than 1/3 of the seats in Congress and the Senate).  Yes, some of it is timing, after all, elections aren't daily so there is a temporal effect to dampen the swings. 

But the real problem is that many of the people who view government as too big still vote for Democrats, who clearly want to expand the size and scope of government.  Take a look at 2012 - 69% of those surveyed said government was too big and powerful.  But president Obama won almost 51% of the popular vote.  That likely means many conservative and independent voters stayed home.  But it also means Democrats got votes from those who think government is too big.  Clearly many voters do not understand the link between liberal Democrats' views on government and the size of government created by those same liberal Democrats.  Well at least they recognize that government is too big. That's a start...barely, but a start.

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