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Poll Finds Independents Think Government Has Too Much Power

by Alex Gauthier, published
United States Congress

United States Congress

A Gallup poll, released Monday, found 58 percent of self-identified independents felt the government has “too much power.” The poll surveyed over 1,000 voters randomly selected from across the United States.

Americans’ overall attitude of government was similarly reflected in the poll as 54 percent of total respondents said the government has too much power. This response has been in the majority since 2005.

According to Gallup:

 “At least half of Americans since 2005 have said the federal government has too much power, whereas in the three years prior to that, Americans were more inclined to believe federal power was "about right."

Independents were also more likely to think the government posed an “immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens…”

Compared with 25 percent of Democrats and 60 percent of Republicans, independents fell between the major parties in skepticism of the government. Yet, the disparity between Democrats and Republicans is very significant:



“More than twice as many Republicans (76%) as Democrats (32%) say the government has too much power…”

Although Democrats see governmental power as less of a threat to civil rights, it remains a big concern for independents and Republicans.

Gallup found that the IRS, Associated Press, and Benghazi issues have had little sway in convincing Americans one way or the other. As a result, partisan attitudes surrounding the role of government are only marginally different when compared to their long-term trends.

“It does not appear, however, that these news stories have dramatically altered Americans' views of the federal government's power. The 54% who now say the federal government has "too much power" is in the same general range as it has been since 2005.”

In 2010, respondents recognized 'too much power' as meaning government had become too involved in people's lives. The last time a near majority of respondents felt the government had 'about the right amount' of power was in 2009.

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