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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

TDS Co-Editor Ruy Teixeira: Public Doesn’t Buy Government-Bashing

In his latest ‘Public Opinion Snapshot,” TDS Co-Editor Ruy Teixeira makes it clear that the Republican attempt to implant the meme that “big” government is the cause of the nation’s problems in the minds of a majority of Americans has failed. As Teixeira explains, “…Several recent poll findings suggest this claim is vastly exaggerated”:

Just 37 percent of respondents in a recent CBS/New York Times poll said they believe President Barack Obama has expanded the role of the government “too much” in trying to solve the country’s economic problems. The others said either “about right” (34 percent) or “not enough” (22 percent). This hardly sounds like a conservative tidal wave.

In addition, Teixeira notes,

Another finding comes from a recent Allstate/National Journal/Heartland poll, which asked people directly about their views of the proper role of government in the economy. Just 35 percent said they subscribe to the fundamental conservative ideological position on government that “government is not the solution to our economic problems, government is the problem.” Another 28 percent said that government must play an active role in regulation and ensuring that the economy benefits “people like me.” And 33 percent said they would like to see government play an active role in the economy to benefit people like themselves, but they were not sure that they could trust the government to be effective in doing so.

Teixeira concludes, “…The American public’s dissatisfaction with government is primarily performance-based and does not reflect a sudden ideological conversion to the conservative cause, no matter what conservative pundits and politicians say.” Despite the millions of dollars Republicans have spent trying to propagate this simplistic meme, it’s clear the overwhelming majority of Americans don’t buy it.

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