Poll: Majority sees government as threat

Jan. 31, 2013 at 3:55 PM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 31 (UPI) -- A large majority of Americans distrust the government and 53 percent fear the government threatens their individual rights, a poll released Thursday indicated.

The telephone survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Jan. 9-13 among 1,502 adults, found 76 percent of conservative Republicans said the government threatens their personal rights and freedoms -- with 54 percent of conservative Republicans characterizing the threat as "major."

Thirty-eight percent of Democrats said the government threatens personal rights and freedoms, with 16 percent calling the threat major.

Overall, 31 percent said the government is a major threat to personal liberty, Pew said in a release.

Sixty-two percent of people who say they have guns in their households say the government is a threat to freedom while 45 percent of those without guns see a threat.

Twenty-six percent said they trust the federal government to do the right thing at least most of the time while 73 percent said they trust the government only some of the time, if it all.

Fifty-eight percent say they are frustrated by government and 19 percent say they are angry with the government. Twenty percent said they basically are content with the government.

Twenty-three percent said they view Congress favorably while 68 said they have an unfavorable view of Congress.

Trust in government is twice as high among Latinos than among whites -- 44 percent, compared to 20 percent. People less than 30 years of age expressed more trust in government than those more than 30 years of age.

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