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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Americans on Government -- From Every Angle

As you might have read on The New York Times, Politico, NPR, The Daily Telegraph, CNN, or dozens of other outlets, Gallup finds Americans expressing historic negativity toward government.

The findings are based on Gallup's annual Governance survey, in which we asked Americans so many questions about their government -- at a time when this topic is affecting everything from the future of the U.S. economy to its future leader -- that we felt a special series was in order.

We've looked at all of the data, and we're bringing the big themes together in three installments this week:

Our kick-off story published Monday morning focused on the problem, highlighting:
  • 81% of Americans are dissatisfied with the way the country is being governed
  • 82% disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job
  • 69% say they have little or no confidence in the legislative branch of government
  • 57% have little or no confidence in the federal government to solve domestic problems
  • 43% have little or no confidence in the government to solve international problems
  • 53% have little or no confidence in the men and women who seek or hold elected office
  • 49% believe the federal government has become so large and powerful that it poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens
The pattern of negativity couldn't be clearer when reviewing the graphics included in our story. Each one is dramatic, but together, the data are truly brutal. In a country founded on democracy, the electorate is voicing historic displeasure with its elected officials.

Next, we're turning to what Americans want from government.

Wednesday morning, we'll report on Americans' philosophic view of government, including:
  • Whether government should ideally take an active versus minimalist role
  • Whether the federal government has too much or too little power
  • Whether there is too much or too little government regulation of business and industry
  • Whether government is doing too much or too little that should be left to business
  • The trade-off between taxes and services

Friday morning, we'll look at specifically what Americans want to see in U.S. politics today, including:
  • Whether they prefer government to be controlled by one party or divided
  • Whether a third party is needed
  • Which political party will do a better job of handling the problem they think is most important
  • Which political party will do a better job of keeping the country prosperous
    Which political party will do a better job of protecting the country

In addition to these, we'll also do a few more standalone stories in the coming days, similar to those we did on Americans' desire for compromise, their perceptions of widespread government waste, and Americans' views on the three branches of government.

To make sure you get every story, sign up for our e-mail alerts and choose "All Gallup Headlines" or "Politics." You can also get all of our stories via Twitter, Facebook, and our mobile apps.

Additionally, we update all of Gallup's long-term trends in our Trends A-Z center, and list our regularly scheduled surveys at the bottom.

For more inside scoops on what we're reporting, follow me on Twitter @gallupqueue.


Anonymous said...
September 27, 2011 at 5:19 PM  

So the teaparty campaigned on stopping spending & stopping Obama & obstruction & now the American public blames us?????? when they voted to stop everything? Maybe they should stop & think about what they have done to their government!

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