Nearly half of Americans think the federal government “poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens,” according to a recent Gallup poll.
Gallup reports that the level of concern about the threat of the federal government has remained relatively steady over that past five years. When the polling outlet first posed the question to Americans in 2003, just 30 percent said the government was a threat.
The level of concern about government’s threat rose in the subsequent years to 35 percent in 2004 to 37 percent in 2005 and 44 percent by 2006. Under President Obama the levels of concern have remained high in the Gallup poll, with 46 percent on the low end and 49 percent on the high end saying government is a threat.
Gallup notes that Americans identifying with the party not in the White House were more likely to see the government as a threat.
“Across the four surveys conducted during the Republican administration of George W. Bush, Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents were consistently more likely than Republicans and Republican-leaning independents to say the federal government posed an immediate threat,” Gallup reports in its analysis.
“By contrast, across the four most recent surveys conducted during the Democratic Obama administration, the partisan gap flipped, with Republicans significantly more likely to agree,” it adds.
This year 65 percent of Republicans agreed that the federal government is an “immediate threat” while just 32 percent of Democrats agreed.
Among the complaints cited by those who view the government as a threat pointed to too many laws and big government (19 percent), violations of freedom and civil liberties (15 percent), infringement on the 2nd Amendment (12 percent), too much involvement in private lives (10 percent), among others.
The survey was conducted from September 9-13 among 1,025 adults across the nation and has a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points.