WaPo Poll: Americans want limited government
There is a lot of uncertainty headed into the fall. Will voters re-elect President Barack Obama, keeping him in the White House for another four years. Or will they choose a different course for the country with Mitt Romney. It’s hard to say where the minds of voters are at the moment in that regard, but a new Washington Post poll shows that Americans do want limited government:
A survey of 3,130 American adults conducted by the Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation between July 25 and August 5 discovered that large majorities of Americans favor a smaller federal government and believe the government controls too much of our daily lives.
The poll asked: “Would you say you favor a smaller federal government with fewer services, or larger federal government with many services?”
Among all those polled, 55 percent said they wanted a smaller federal government and 40 percent said they wanted a larger federal government.
Among just the registered voters in the poll, 58 percent said they wanted a smaller federal government and 37 percent said they wanted a larger federal government.
The poll also asked: “Do you personally agree or disagree with the following statement. Government controls too much of our daily lives.”
Among all those polled, 60 percents said they agreed and 39 percent said they disagreed. Among just the registered voters in the survey, the results were almost identical, with 60 percent saying they agreed and 38 percent saying they disagreed.
Given the large number of independents included in the poll — 34% of the number of voters surveyed, Bruce McQuain notes over at QandO that “[i]t would seem that the big middle is headed to the right.”
Bruce is right, based on this poll and others like it. But the poll that ultimately matters will be the one taken in the fall. Right now, Obama would win in an electoral landslide and the Senate would remain in Democratic Party hands, based on trends in swing states. Americans may hold a fundamental view that government does too much and should be limited, but it doesn’t look like that is translating into a real votes.