Americans see big government as biggest threat

Thomas Lifson
The only way that the Democrats, the party of big government, can win elections is by demonizing Republicans as mean, stupid racists, and by lying about their own beliefs and intentions. That is the logical conclusion to draw from the consistent polling trend report by Gallup in "Record High in U.S. Say Big Government Greatest Threat."

Seventy-two percent of Americans say big government is a greater threat to the U.S. in the future than is big business or big labor, a record high in the nearly 50-year history of this question. The prior high for big government was 65% in 1999 and 2000. Big government has always topped big business and big labor, including in the initial asking in 1965, but just 35% named it at that time.

As can be seen, distrust of big govenrment has spiked, but it is also a long term trend:

Gallup has documented a steady increase in concern about big government since 2009, rising from 55% in March 2009 to 64% in November 2011 and 72% today. This suggests that government policies specific to the period, such as the Affordable Care Act -- perhaps coupled with recent revelations of government spying tactics by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden -- may be factors.

As would be expected, Republicans see big government in an especially harsh light and Democrats less so. But among independents, the key swing voters, concenr over big government is also high:

One immediate implication is for GOP candidates and spokesmen to refer to Obamacare and other Democrat programs as "big government solutions" that won't work.

A second implication is to wise up on the importance of image and brand management. A two pronged strategy is required. One prong is coming up with images of GOP candidates as caring, wise, and capable. The easier prong is coming up with negative images of Democrats as foolish adherents of big government.

 

The only way that the Democrats, the party of big government, can win elections is by demonizing Republicans as mean, stupid racists, and by lying about their own beliefs and intentions. That is the logical conclusion to draw from the consistent polling trend report by Gallup in "Record High in U.S. Say Big Government Greatest Threat."

Seventy-two percent of Americans say big government is a greater threat to the U.S. in the future than is big business or big labor, a record high in the nearly 50-year history of this question. The prior high for big government was 65% in 1999 and 2000. Big government has always topped big business and big labor, including in the initial asking in 1965, but just 35% named it at that time.

As can be seen, distrust of big govenrment has spiked, but it is also a long term trend:

Gallup has documented a steady increase in concern about big government since 2009, rising from 55% in March 2009 to 64% in November 2011 and 72% today. This suggests that government policies specific to the period, such as the Affordable Care Act -- perhaps coupled with recent revelations of government spying tactics by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden -- may be factors.

As would be expected, Republicans see big government in an especially harsh light and Democrats less so. But among independents, the key swing voters, concenr over big government is also high:

One immediate implication is for GOP candidates and spokesmen to refer to Obamacare and other Democrat programs as "big government solutions" that won't work.

A second implication is to wise up on the importance of image and brand management. A two pronged strategy is required. One prong is coming up with images of GOP candidates as caring, wise, and capable. The easier prong is coming up with negative images of Democrats as foolish adherents of big government.