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53% View Government As Threat To Individual Rights

Friday, June 03, 2011

Over half (53%) of Americans now believe the federal government is more of a threat to individual rights than a protector.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that just 33% of Adults believe the government is more of a protector of those rights. Fourteen percent (14%) are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

In a survey nearly a year ago, 48% believed the government was a threat to individual rights, while 37% saw the government as a protector. 

Fifty-two percent (52%) of Americans think it is more important for the government to protect individual rights than to promote economic growth. Twenty-eight percent (28%) take the opposite view and say the government should put promoting economic growth ahead of individual rights. Another 20% aren’t sure. These findings are similar to those found a year ago.

In late December, 59% of voters said protecting individual rights was a more important role for government than managing the economy or promoting social justice. 

However, voters still tend to believe America’s legal system puts too much emphasis on individual rights when it comes to both national security and public safety.

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The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on May 30-31, 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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