A majority of Democrats join most Republicans in seeing Big Government as greatest threat
The polls have not been kind for the Obama administration lately. That isn’t likely to change any time soon. Gallup just released poll results showing 72% of Americans believe big government is a greater threat to the future of the US compared to big business (21%) and big labor (5%). With five years of big government solutions from Obama following eight years of big government from Bush I don’t find this to be an odd poll result.
What is interesting however is the increase of Democrats seeing big government as the greatest threat to the country’s future. Here is the breakdown of respondents categorized by Republican, Democrat, or Independent:
In this chart there is a pretty steady climb of mistrust for big government from Republicans and Independents that began in the Reagan years. Then all three categories really came together to put their trust in big government after 9/11. From that point on all three group had a pretty sharp increase in mistrust of big government. For the most part that mistrust has not subsided for Republicans (which is why I find it odd so many Democrats will say “well Bush did x”, a large percentage of Republicans realize that and regret his time in office).
The interesting trend though is when Obama won the election. There was a dramatically steep decrease in mistrust of big government from Democrats, along with a small decrease from Independents. At that time self-identified Democrats more likely than not believed in this great “change” Obama was bringing forth. From that time on however all three groups have consistently lost more faith in big government. Actually if this trend continues through the end of Obama’s time in office it is likely Democrats will have more distrust of government than they did towards the end of the Bush years.
Maybe the future legacy of Bush/Obama will be them having created the cultural environment for a smaller and more accountable federal government. A thought of that future makes it almost worth living through the last 13 years of big government…