Gallup's annual Governance Poll was conducted by the Princeton, N.J., firm Sept. 8-11. It indicated 53 percent of respondents believe the government is doing too many things that individuals and businesses should be doing, a slight increase from prior years.
Gallup said this year's Governance Poll was typical in that preferences reflected the dominant political philosophies in the United States, with Republicans favoring a lesser role for the government in solving economic problems and Democrats a more active one.
The poll, however, was taken before news of Wall Street financial crisis became a top story, and Gallup said preliminary surveys about a proposed government bailout of financial firms indicate most U.S. respondents favor what promises to the be biggest government intervention into the financial markets since the Great Depression.
The results were based on telephone interviews with 1,007 adults and had a margin error of 3 percentage points.