One of the questions Gallup asks in its annual governance survey is whether people think that government is taking on tasks that are best left to individuals and businesses or it they think the government should do more to “solve the country’s problems.” For the 20 years or so that Gallup has asked the question, the response has nearly always been that the government does too much.
This year’s survey is no different. In early summer, 61% of respondents thought that government did too much and 34% thought government did not do enough. In early September, the gap narrowed a little: 54% thought government did too much and 39% thought it did too little.
Along political party lines, 82% of Republicans say the government does too much, while on 24% of Democrats say the same thing. Only 15% of Republicans say government should do more, while 67% of Democrats believe government should do more.
On a similar question concerning whether the government has too much power, 51% say it does and 40% say it does not. The split along party lines is about what you would expect: 78% of Republicans say the government has too much power, while only 28% of Democrats agree.
Americans continue to say the government is attempting to do too much that should be left to individuals and businesses, and about half say the government has too much power, while the rest say that its power is about right or that it has too little power. These views have moderated somewhat compared with prior surveys, most likely as a result of the apparently successful Democratic convention, which resulted in changes in a number of Gallup trends.