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47% Fear Government Will Help Economy Too Much

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Voters still view the economy as issue number one but worry that the government will be more of a problem than a solution as it tries to fix things.

A new Rasmussen reports national telephone survey finds that nearly half (47%) of Likely U.S. Voters fear the government will do too much in responding to the nation’s current economic problems. Forty percent (40%), on the other hand, worry that the government will not do enough. Thirteen percent (13%) aren’t sure which is potentially worse. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

A month ago, for the first time in over two years of surveying on the question, voters by a slight 44% to 42% margin expressed more concern that the government would not do enough in response to the economy. But the latest numbers parallel findings back to November 2008.

Excluding last month’s numbers, concern that the government will do too much has ranged from a low of 45% in January 2009 to a high of 63% in September 2008 right as the Wall Street bubble began to burst. Fear that the government won’t do enough has run from 25% in September 2008 to 44% on three occasions since then, most recently in December.

As is often the case, there’s a wide gap between the Political Class and Mainstream voters on the question. Fifty-seven percent (57%) of those in the Mainstream worry the government will do too much to right the economy, but 65% of Political Class voters have the opposite concern, that the government won’t do enough.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely U.S. Voters was conducted on January 15-16, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.


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