February 26th, 2010
09:00 AM ET
4 years ago

CNN Poll: Majority says government a threat to citizens' rights

Fifty-six percent of Americans say the government poses an immediate threat to individual rights and freedoms.
Fifty-six percent of Americans say the government poses an immediate threat to individual rights and freedoms.

Washington (CNN) – A majority of Americans think the federal government poses a threat to rights of Americans, according to a new national poll.

Fifty-six percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Friday say they think the federal government's become so large and powerful that it poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens. Forty-four percent of those polled disagree.

The survey indicates a partisan divide on the question: only 37 percent of Democrats, 63 percent of Independents and nearly 7 in 10 Republicans say the federal government poses a threat to the rights of Americans.

According to CNN poll numbers released Sunday, Americans overwhelmingly think that the U.S. government is broken - though the public overwhelmingly holds out hope that what's broken can be fixed.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted February 12-15, with 1,023 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points for the overall survey.


Filed under: 2010 • CNN Polls • Popular Posts
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. James

    When government makes deals to eliminate your jobs {14 trade aggreements and one big fat NAFTA} and you loose your house, health insurance and home, I would have to think that government " by the people" is no longer a valid statement. It was greedy people that got this country in the mess that we are in. Those special interest people influenced the people in government that we trusted. They betrayed our trust and now we pay for their mistakes.China and the US. threaten trade wars from time to time, but in all reality I believe in the end, China and our large corporations will always win until the people of the united states demand that the sweetheart deals made over the last 20 years end.

    February 26, 2010 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  2. stevegee

    It's time to neuter the federal government. The liberals have turned it into what we fought a revolution against over 225 years ago: an overreaching, overtaxing, oligarchy.

    Our freedom and liberty are at stake; we are going to have to fight to get it back, all of it! November 2010 can't come soon enough.

    Vote conservative, people. Unless you like being a slave to Obama, Reid and Pelosi, and want to condemn future generations with the same fate.

    February 26, 2010 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  3. Nick

    The Federal government is a threat. All you have to do is look at the size, growth, salaries, and perks of the average employee, and know that you are paying for it, and you'll realize it exists solely for its own benefits and not the benefit of the American people. We need to eliminate entitlements and anything that does not directly support only the infrastructure and defense of the country to get it back under control.

    February 26, 2010 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  4. gwen

    Yes it does... under bush we lost so many rights... civil rights where squandered "to protect the american people"... sorry I don't buy this. Our rights where squandered to protect corporations!!! Wake up people and quit watching fox news!!!! IT is owned by corporate america!!!!
    The govt. was developed to help and assist its people.. that is the purpose of the govt., not to compromise our freedoms!! Giving us health care is a far cry from imposing on our right to privacy!! cough, cough.. BUSH!

    February 26, 2010 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  5. Sheena

    They most certainly do and something should be done about it very quickly. The Present majority government will just push ahead with their own projects and are not listening to the very people that they work for, these people should be shut down if they continue to ignore what "We the People" want. It is getting very dangerous, these people were not voted in to do what they please, but to do the peoples bidding, we are loosing are rights to freedom from this government, and that is not the American Way. Wake up People before its too late!

    February 26, 2010 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  6. Chas in Iowa

    You folks need to come up to speed,.....
    American freedoms and rights were lost with the passage of the "Patriot Act" many years ago under GWB.

    February 26, 2010 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  7. Dan

    Makes sense that repubs dispise the government while the dems feel that the government is not a threat, how could one feel threatened by their own God?

    February 26, 2010 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  8. How To Bankrupt America-Put A Dem On It

    Dems/Obama and SOCIALISM = bankruptcy /welfare/entitlements/and FAILURE. Why REWARD the non workers and call it progress,how about the workers paying for your socialism?Dems want everyone to FAIL and be POOR.

    February 26, 2010 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  9. jenn, philadelphia

    Of course not a lot of democrats think the government is too big. As long as it continues to take care of them, it can bet as big as it needs to be.

    February 26, 2010 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  10. Surely, You Can't Be Serious...

    Nevermind Uncle Sam, anyone reading this can attest that there are those who believe that some rules do not apply to them and that thinking is more of a threat to anyone, anywhere in the world.

    February 26, 2010 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  11. GPC

    As an Independent, I say that the most recent right wing government s have severely damaged civil and human rights along with economic freedoms of average Americans by using executive powers and political tactics (reconcilliation) to impose draconian police powers and corporate welfare. I find it interesting that those identifying themselves as republicans are now complaining about these (or other) measures while railing against current efforts to stabilize our economy. Open you eyes folks. Your wealth and freedoms have been eroded not by the center or left but by the far right.

    GPC in TX

    February 26, 2010 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  12. Andy

    Dems/Obama = dog and pony show/promises/lies/spin & smoke.GOP just say NO and be proud if it,stop the dem/obama wasteful spending and socialist entitlement agenda.Government is the problem not the solution.Send the dems home in Nov.

    February 26, 2010 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  13. JonDie

    The Republican Tea Party solution: Turn the government over to the private corporations like Visa, AIG and the health insurance companies that are robbing most of us blind while denying coverage to many. Yeah, that's makes a lot of sense. The "government" doesn't take away anyone's rights, it makes sure that the rich don't trample all over my rights.

    February 26, 2010 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  14. Candi

    Obama & the Dem Politicians are smart.They get paid for what they do,it is the morons that follow them that are the brainless/mindless ones.Sheep going to slaughter and do not even know it.

    February 26, 2010 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  15. jj

    whatever CNN, with your catch phrases!!

    February 26, 2010 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  16. I voted for Obama and proud of it in Oregon

    ya right the republicans are the threat they lie and the democrats need to get a set of Balls and pass health care with or with out the party of NO
    so its not the current president its the bush chenney rove era . 8 years of lies and theats . its time to move on change is here lets help the president make it happen . call email or what ever your representative
    tell them support the presidents plan

    February 26, 2010 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  17. dora

    I'm no fan of the "Big Brother" concept of government, but just what exactly do you think you will be a citizen of without government?

    We need to get the money out of elections. We need to get the money out of politics (starting with K street). We need to get the money out of the news industry, so they can report news not gossip.

    Poll question on the home page of CNN asked, "How do you view the White House Health Care Summit? Productive or a waste of time?" It accomplished nothing productivity wise, but it was a showcase of the bullstuff that the Republican Party has been peddling as policy.

    February 26, 2010 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  18. T'SAH from Virginia

    I am at the point now to where I do not believe these polls anymore!!! It makes you wonder if CNN or the Pollsters are polling the SAME people???

    I, and EVERYONE around my world, have NEVER been polled!!! NEVER!! Also, whose home during the day to answer the polls?? When are the polls taken??? Are CELL PHONES included??? Are BLACK people included??? Are GAYS included?

    Another thing – how could these numbers be so right when EVERY Republican agreed with almost EVERYTHING in the Health Care Bill – which means they would have voted for it ONLY if the process was started over???? Huh? They want it to start over so they can LIE to the people that the PLAN passed because of THEM!!!

    This all has to do with HEALTH CARE and so be it!!!!

    February 26, 2010 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  19. Deb

    Can you smell the Revolution???? Obama vs The People!!!!!!

    February 26, 2010 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  20. Cranky

    This is NOT news to me.....I could have told you 30 years ago the our commie government. were slowly eroding at our rights......Its nice to know that CNN and their liberal followers finally woke up!!!

    February 26, 2010 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  21. Gil Oberdas

    Sometimes we get "Our Civil Rights" mixed up with our "Civil Privileges and Civil Obligations!" We have become too "Give me, give me, give me, in our outlook towards our Nation, family and others.

    February 26, 2010 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  22. mike

    Yesterday's all day photo-op (sorry, "Health Care Summit") was a prime example of what this poll indicates. It was a fine example of bipartisanship, both sides could not retreat from their "talking points" and nothing was accomplished. Now the Democrats will feel that it's OK to ram this one down our throats, too. Even though all polls indicate that "We The People" don't want it.

    February 26, 2010 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  23. Jake

    Aunt Bea/Opie/Mayberry/ & the tooth fairey = NObama/Dumocraps and socialist success ALL ARE JUST A FAIREY TALE-wake up the GOP will rule and once again we all will win.GOP for life,the party of success.

    February 26, 2010 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  24. John

    I guess the Democrats should consider NOT ramming through a bastardized version of a health care bill, eh? Go back to the drawing board and don't try to save face, Barry.... you're hearing....but not listening.... START OVER!!!

    February 26, 2010 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  25. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Whatever. Government is suppose to govern. It may seem odd to some folks because the country has been ungoverned for the last 8 years.

    February 26, 2010 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
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