Independents: Conflicted Over The Role Of Government

Our latest NBC/WSJ poll* provides an interesting look at Independents and how they view the role of government.

Overall, Americans are divided between whether “government should do more to solve problems and help meet the needs of people” (47{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}), or “government is doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals” (49{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}). For more info visit Paralegal Occupation

Not surprisingly, Republicans and Democrats are at odds on this philosophical question.  By a margin of roughly four-to-one Republicans say the government is doing too much (79{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}) rather than wanting it to do more (19{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}).  Democrats provide an almost mirror image of opinion with 72{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} saying the government should do more best home insurance companies and only 22{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} saying it is doing too much.

Independents have changed dramatically on this measure since last year. Please compare motor trade insurance  As recently as April 2009 they were divided with 45{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} preferring the government to do more and 43{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} saying it is doing too much.  Then, in September 2009 we saw a significant shift with just 35{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} saying the government should do more and a majority (56{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}) saying it is doing too much.  This trend continues today with our fifth survey track in a row showing Independents think the government is doing too much (40{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} government should do more, 55{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} government is doing too much).

Ok, so it’s clear then – Independents always want less government intervention?  Well, not exactly…

When asked about seven different groups or industries in our latest poll, Independents tend to lean towards wanting more regulation, not less.  So, what gives?

Looking at this list, the majority of Independents want more regulation on the groups and industries that have recently come under increasing public scrutiny for one reason or another – the oil industry, Wall Street firms and big corporations.  And, when you consider that 50{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of Independents agree with the statement and “the economic and political systems in the country are stacked against people like me,” compared to 41{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} who disagree** you start to get the impression that Independents are looking for a sense of fairness.  They don’t want the big guys to get away with bad behavior while the regular guys (like them) are struggling to get by (especially in today’s economy). For more info please visit : ontarioexteriorsolutions

Appealing to Independent voters means threading the needle on the role of government.  These important voters do not want too much government intervention, but they do want government to step in and referee the situation if they think there’s been foul play.

(Public Opinion Strategies partners with Peter D. Hart Research Associates to conduct the NBC/WSJ polls. Neither Peter D. Hart Research Associates nor NBC/WSJ are responsible for these conclusions.)


Public Opinion Strategies