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. kevintheelder

    The problem starts with a lack of a real 'Job Description' for members of Congress. I can't speak for others, but I don't feel that our elected representatives should be going to Washington intent on passing new legislation. As an example we have over 40,000 DIFFERENT laws on the books pertaining to guns. Isn't that alone insane? When this government was created, We The People only wanted to be safe. After that, leave me alone! If the politicians hadn't upset this credo, we'd be solvent today and still the Number One country in the world. Let's see if we can get people to run for office who promise they will begin dismantling, brick by brick, the chains that we now have shackling us.

    February 26, 2010 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  2. Tom O

    And amazingly, in the face of all these polls and surveys reported widely, clearly, and directly – the government will continue to do exactly what we say not to do. It is pure arrogance on their part. They know better than we all do; we are dumb sheep and they are the great protectors. I used to listen to Pink Floyd's "The Wall" and think of Russia – now I think of America.

    February 26, 2010 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  3. stormy

    The survey indicates a partisan divide on the question: only 37 percent of Democrats, 63 percent of Independents and nearly 7 in 10 Republicans

    Partisan Divide??? are you really that stupid or is your liberal idiocy coming into play here....you actually state 63% of independents...INDEPENDENTS!!!....ass clown.

    February 26, 2010 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  4. Gary

    How about the independents? What's the story on them? Should have provided a breakdown of the 1,023 people by party affiliation or were all either Republican or Democrat?

    On a side note, good to see that CNN is finally (perhaps because it can no longer be supressed) reporting news that more accurately reflects the tone of the nation and not the spin coming from the WH and majority in Congress.

    February 26, 2010 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  5. michael

    I have one queston, the story says 37% of dems, 63% of independents, and 7 in 10 rep. So why didn't they stick with the format and say 70% of republicans? I wonder if Barry is going to say these people are talking about Bush's government?

    February 26, 2010 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  6. Bryan H

    Thank goodness we have the intellectual elite who know better than the rest of us. Anyone who can't honestly answer this poll in the affirmative is mentally ill. Progressivism on the right and the left is a threat to this democratic republic and must be squashed. Anyone who disagrees should do some serious soul searching.

    February 26, 2010 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  7. Papasan in AZ

    The monster is eating its tail...

    February 26, 2010 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  8. stinky

    And this is from CNN- Go figure- Maybe everyone is catching on.

    February 26, 2010 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  9. madmatt

    yet the republicans are the one that demanded extending all the rights-killing aspects of the patriot act extension the other day. They also want the govt to stick their nose into everybodies bedroom, so their "support" for rights is lies or hypocrisy

    February 26, 2010 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  10. Pat Kennedy

    CNN is playing catch up-finally! Obama only wants rights for some- not for all- he is so dangerous- and CNN by it's total lack of truthful coverage is almost as dangerous ciao!

    February 26, 2010 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  11. anchorbeach

    We have career politicians and a President printing money and financially breaking our bank while attempting to make un-Constitutional policies in the health care arena, adding unwarranted tax burdens based on the lie of man made global warming, denial of our own resources of course they are a threat to our liberties

    February 26, 2010 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  12. Lawrence

    The government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take whatever it wants.

    February 26, 2010 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  13. Kris

    This is the "duh" poll of the day. Of course the US government is a threat to our rights. All they need is the right emergency to pass any legislation they want. Just ask Rahm Emanuel; that's his plan.

    February 26, 2010 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  14. Ancient Texan

    Not long now, November 2010, we can begin rebuilding the America we know and love. Not the nanny state that's been under construction for the last fourteen months.

    February 26, 2010 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  15. KATHLEEN

    With the Democrats posturing to pass a freedom oppressing health care bill through reconciliation I am not surprised at all by this poll. This administration has been overreaching since the beginning of its tenure.

    The spending and increase of government size by 24% in one year in the midst of a serious financial crisis shows that they really don't care about the American people.

    They will be voted out of office for doing additional damage to our economy cloaked in the disguise of a stimulus bill and all of the other spending which were mostly payoffs to cronies for helping win an election.

    February 26, 2010 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  16. joe

    obama and his gang of thugs want to control every part of americans lives.. in their world the only ones with rights are them not you.. government control is not the answer.. name one thing govt does that is done wisely.. waste, fraud, abuse..

    February 26, 2010 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  17. Marilyn

    Why is all this coming as a shock to msm agencies? People have been very vocal. Could it be that after more than a year they haven't been able to silence the majority into submission, that maybe there is something to it? They have been bowing and kissing the feet of the annointed one for so long they have forgotten the people that actually see the emporer without clothing.

    February 26, 2010 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  18. libra

    Cnn how come u didnt take this typeof poll when g w bush was wiretapping america u r getting more like fox thats why i watch bbc news

    February 26, 2010 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  19. CL OT

    This should not be a surprise. I hope that everyone in Washington sees and understands this.

    February 26, 2010 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  20. Matt Trey

    This poll also demonstrates that 63 percent of Democrats have no idea what is going on around them.

    February 26, 2010 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  21. IntelliQ

    Im surprised that it's only 56%.

    Indoctrination at the early ages in our public schools will eradicate the holdouts. Eventually.

    February 26, 2010 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  22. fourtunato

    People thought Bush was taking away rights. What a laugh. Obama's socialist utopia will strip us all of more and more of our freedom. As soon as he gets control of our health system, he'll accelerate getting as many people as possible reliant on the on govt. for jobs. Just like every socialist country. Then we are dead. The US is toast with this guy.

    February 26, 2010 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  23. Roger

    Good to see that the public is beginning to wise up. Are you listening, Democrats? Obama?

    February 26, 2010 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  24. Will Crain

    Jefferson, whom was considered a "Liberal" during his time, had one of the greatest quotes, "A goverment big enough to give you everything you want, can also take take it all away.".

    February 26, 2010 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  25. Danny Ross

    The amazing thing to me is that anyone thinks that government is not a threat to their rights. It is what governments do. As Robert Heinlein says, "Laws are not passed for the benefit of the governed." More to the point, President Obama is arguably the most extreme proponent of government control of the individual.

    February 26, 2010 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
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