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

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

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/09/art.capitol.gi.jpg caption="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. Charlie Johnson

    I love my Country but don't trust my governmant

    February 26, 2010 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  2. jacklordGOD

    CNN is reporting this? Wow, that means things are way worse than I thought for BO. When even CNN has this kind of take, I would say we are looking at a Democrat bloodbath in November.

    February 26, 2010 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  3. Pedro

    Funny that so many GOP respondents think the government is a threat given that it was the Bush administration that tried to do away with Habeas Corpus and had the military and NSA listening in on the phone conversations of American citizens without having to secure a warrant.

    Yeah, I for one feel much safer with the government now.

    February 26, 2010 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  4. freedom4all100

    what happen to limited goverment? States Right? what is next socialism, a dictorship? Time for more TeaParties, this time a real party.

    February 26, 2010 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  5. speedy

    we are living under a communist government.

    February 26, 2010 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  6. Beckwith

    It isn't the government.

    It's the socialists in the Democratic Party, and their "Dear Leader."

    And, I don't know what the hell he is.

    February 26, 2010 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  7. Bill

    With this loser president, what did you think was going to happen. He HATES America...

    February 26, 2010 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  8. Benjamin Cook

    That is not a "partisan divide". It only shows how much liberals are either A. out of touch or B. clinging to their biases.

    The natural inertia of government (all government) is to grow. Our Federal system is out of control. Just because "there ought to be a law" doesn't mean in falls to the Federal gov. to provide it. Just because we need health care reform, doesn't make it the job of Feds, or make it Constitutional.

    We have 50 states capable of making strides if the Feds would back off.

    February 26, 2010 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  9. Mr. Moderate

    I bet Republicans did not think that when their guy was in charge.

    February 26, 2010 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  10. Dean

    Where was all this outrage when Bush and Cheney were taking away our rights?

    February 26, 2010 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  11. RightStuff

    My daddy always said "Fear government, pray for the country." What a wise man!

    February 26, 2010 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  12. Terry Samuels


    Only CNN is surprised, most of us have known this since King Obama took over. Everything he does seems to come from Presidente Chavezes play book.

    February 26, 2010 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  13. missy8s

    If you don't believe that ever expanding government is a threat to your liberties then you simply aren't paying attention to history...

    February 26, 2010 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  14. vietvet

    obama is looking for any excuse to declare Martial Law! He will have to be forcibly removed from government. We are heading for a Civil War in America, brought to you by democrats!

    February 26, 2010 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  15. STV

    I think the number is higher. The IRS are looking to purchase shotguns. The police departments should be able to protect them. Why the shotguns?

    February 26, 2010 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  16. Angry White Male

    The question is, will this stop Obama?

    It's getting to the point to where I hope some Democrats get together and go visit the President and tell him in no uncertain terms.


    I don't know why Obama can't try to go win the war in Afghanistan or work on jobs. Those would both be notable achievements. But instead he's trying to destroy healthcare for those who have it for those who don't.

    People, that's madness!

    February 26, 2010 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  17. Miner49er

    A wolf in sheeples' clothing.

    February 26, 2010 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  18. Phil

    Really? Are you kidding me? Where was all the outrage when the Patriot Act (an ACTUAL violation of citizens' rights) was passed?

    This fear-mongering, hateful diatribe served up by the fanatics in the GOP tent has got to stop. What a joke this is.

    February 26, 2010 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  19. bruce

    I find it interesting that two years ago, democrats would have polled closer to 70%. Just another example of Obama=good......Bush=bad

    February 26, 2010 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  20. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert but....

    Most Americans are too brainwashed by corporate propaganda to see that unfettered global capitalism is the root cause of most of their problems. But don't worry about it, consumerbots, those big corporations have your best interest at heart. Sorry you lost your job, now go to Wal-Mart and buy some shoddy, made in china, lead-painted baby clothes. Have a nice day!

    February 26, 2010 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  21. Minnesotan

    Let's see, the Republicans started the Patriot Act, NCLB, wire tapping, spending like drunks, increasing our deficit, started two wars and have generally been incompetent while pushing 'smaller government.' Now, the Dems have to clean up the GOP mess, deal with Republican obstructionism, lies and deceit, and deal with their own spinelessness. Yep, we're screwed.

    February 26, 2010 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  22. Yee Haw

    Well, I guess this does mean that the democrat party is done in November.

    February 26, 2010 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  23. Mathis Chapul

    Absolute power is corrupting and no better example than what has happened in Washington. The federal government under any party has expanded and with that taken liberty away from the states and therefore the citizens. The healthcare summit showed the arrogance and disconnect of politicians who sit upon gilded thrones of self importance and supposed wisdom. Elections mean something... it means the citizens have selected for a brief moment individuals to serve them. I have never been a believer in term limits until now... across the board.

    February 26, 2010 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  24. Georgiaguy

    The report on eroding rights in this country comes from CNN. The most left wing reporting of the cable media. You have to wonder if congress will believe it now.

    February 26, 2010 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  25. onarant

    The 44% that does not think the government is a threat to citizens rights, must be employed by the government or receiving entitlements from the government.

    February 26, 2010 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
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