About 35 percent of poll respondents said they preferred an activist government that tried to improve the lives of its citizens while 37 percent said they preferred a government that provides only the most basic government functions. The remainder said they were in between.
Fifty-seven percent respondents said they think the federal government has too much power, while most of the rest said the government has about the right amount of power, the Princeton, N.J., polling agency said.
Half of Americans said they thought there was too much government regulation of business and industry, Gallup said.
Fifty-six percent said they would pay less in taxes and accept fewer services rather than either maintaining the status quo or paying more taxes for more services, results indicated.
A majority -- 56 percent -- said they think the federal government is trying to do too many things that should be left to individuals and businesses, while 39 percent said government should do more to solve the nation's problems, Gallup said.
Results are based on nationwide telephone surveys of 1,017 adults conducted Sept. 8-11. The margin of error is 4 percentage points.