Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Another look at that Gallup poll

I want to rewind for a moment to Monday's post. To recap, a recent Gallup poll reveals that 49% of Americans believe that the federal government has become so big and so powerful that it poses "an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens." The poll shows that 61% of Republicans recognize the threat, as do 28% of Democrats and 57% of independents.

This isn't the first time that Gallup has asked the question, of course, and I find it interesting to look back at how party affiliation has affected the results at different points in time.
In 2006, for example, during Pres. George W. Bush's second term, it was Democrats who felt far more threatened (57%) than Republicans (21%). In 2010, two years into Pres. Barack Obama's administration, the numbers flipped (21% vs. 66%).

I think we can attribute the 2011 numbers -- a 5% drop in wary Republicans and a corresponding 7% increase in skittish Democrats -- to the GOP winning control of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Notice how disciples of the two dominant parties whip with the political wind. Independents, by contrast, are comparatively steady -- 50% of us saw the threat of big government in 2006, 49% in 2010. The jump to 57% this year indicates, at least to me, an acknowledgement of recent strides made by the enemies of Liberty.