If it's in the News, it's in our Polls. Public opinion polling since 2003.


Tuesday, June 02, 2015

What America Thinks: To Regulate or Not to Regulate?

Generally speaking, voters want the government to back off. Except when they don’t. So when is government a good thing? We decided to find out what America thinks.

For the most part, Americans always favor free market competition over more government regulation. This is true for protecting Internet users, reducing health care costs, encouraging healthier eating and reducing dependence on foreign oil. In every instance, they strongly agree that more free market competition will do more to encourage the desired outcome. Voters also believe less government involvement will do more to help close the income gap.

Americans are generally okay with the government controlling the sale of potentially harmful substances like marijuana and e-cigarettes the way they do regular cigarettes and alcohol. They are also on board with government regulation of things they’re not sure they like, like cloning, drones and campaign contributions.

One big problem is that only 19% of voters now trust the federal government to do the right thing most or all the time. They definitely don't trust the feds to fairly enforce tax or gun control laws. They also question whether state governments will fairly administer water restrictions like the ones recently ordered in California.

The bottom line is that most Americans already feel the government plays too a big a role in their lives, so they're seldom looking for more regulation.

For Rasmussen Reports, I’m Alex Boyer. Remember, if it’s in the news, it’s in our polls.