Americans Undecided on Government’s Role

Gallup: “Americans continue to divide almost evenly when asked to rate their preference for government activity on a 1-to-5 scale. Currently, 35% rate themselves a ‘1’ or ‘2,’ indicating that they favor a limited government that ‘provides only the most basic government functions.’ Meanwhile, 32% rate themselves a ‘4’ or ‘5,’ tending to prefer a government that ‘takes active steps in every area it can to try and improve the lives of its citizens.’ The remaining one-third of Americans fall in the middle.”

“Substantial percentages of each party’s supporters — 38% of Democrats and 26% of Republicans — place themselves in the middle on the 5-point scale. And one in six Republicans say they favor a more active government, while one in 10 Democrats favor a less active one.”

“The divided preferences on government activity do not give elected leaders clear direction in deciding whether to rely on government or nongovernment solutions to the nation’s biggest problems. To some degree this may help explain why the president and Congress have had difficulty in addressing some of the major issues facing the country in recent years.”

Trend: Preferences Regarding Federal Government's Role

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