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. Old White Virginia Female

    Apparently the Republican rhetoric, scare tactics, negative labeling, and the like have worked on independents. Pity because we surely need some government oversight of Wall Street that hasn't happened yet. You folks keep on trusting that corporations judged by their bottom line are going to do the right thing and you are going to keep on getting burned. I just get so impatient with ignorance.

    February 26, 2010 05:35 am at 5:35 am |
  2. Jim

    Which would you as a citizen want a greedy corporation (as we have many of them now) running your life or a government that puts its thumbs on the greedy corporations and keeps them in line like most of the rest of the civilized world has. Me the later Jim Hall Kansas City, Mo.

    February 26, 2010 05:48 am at 5:48 am |
  3. c spurgeon

    CNN and their opinionated coverage and polls are bringing this country down. Turn the networks off and make up your own minds.

    February 26, 2010 05:49 am at 5:49 am |
  4. jules sand-perkins

    This is what one would expect: a good majority of today's Democrats ready, even anxious, to sacrifice personal liberty in exchange for some level of financial support from the government.
    The Democratic Party used to foster more pride than that. Doesn't anybody remember President Kennedy (a Democrat)?

    February 26, 2010 05:57 am at 5:57 am |
  5. jules sand-perkins

    Regarding the fixing of what's been wrong in Washington for a year, it WILL be fixed this coming November.

    February 26, 2010 06:01 am at 6:01 am |
  6. Michael I Minnesota

    All those good republicans would have no problem as long as GOP was in front of the president
    But that said – it is way to big

    February 26, 2010 06:05 am at 6:05 am |
  7. Tom in Delaware

    Obama in DENIAL.


    The trust has gone *poof*...

    February 26, 2010 06:06 am at 6:06 am |
  8. Marie MD

    Oh please! The people witching and complaining are the birthers and tea party crowd nutsos. The ones who want their country back!!
    You can give your gosh darn guns. Geez. So many other important things to worry about in this world.
    I will NEVER understand their mindset. Do they want less highways, less schools, no more police or fire departments, no more national parks, the list goes on and on.
    I want the same healthcare that Congress has. As an American citizen I want to make sure my family and I have the best. Just like they do.

    February 26, 2010 06:17 am at 6:17 am |
  9. Michael, Gallatin, Tn

    Government is a threat to our rights and liberties. Certainly under recent Republican administrations from Nixon to Bush II, government has sought to circumvent the Bill of Rights and other constitutional guarantees and violate the rights and privacy of citizens for its own self-perpetuating purposes. While the Democrats are far from perfect, at least they haven't yet been as fearful of and hostile to personal liberty as the Republicans have.

    February 26, 2010 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  10. Katy Hill

    Until Americans wake up and realize putting the same old tired politicans back in office over and over then expecting change is a pipe dream, we'll continue our downhill slide. Anyone who believes these guys run for any reason besides lining their own pockets needs to get off whatever they're smoking.

    February 26, 2010 06:35 am at 6:35 am |
  11. Stephen J. Baker

    They didn't worry about this when the Department of Homeland Security was formed and the Patriot Act was passed. Where were these people?

    February 26, 2010 06:42 am at 6:42 am |
  12. John in Indy

    Sometimes the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots. -Thomas Jefferson

    February 26, 2010 06:42 am at 6:42 am |
  13. Jeff

    Funny how 70% of Republicans think the government is a threat to their civil liberties when it was #43 who took many away from us, allowed torture here and in secret prisons (not so secret prisons now) and tried to rule through fear...

    Rush/Laura/Rove/Fox News/Hannity/O'Reilly/Savage = Fear Mongers.

    Think for yourself! Turn off hate radio/TV and go for a walk!

    February 26, 2010 06:50 am at 6:50 am |
  14. Conservative American

    Wow! 56% of Americans "get it". And, what a suprise – most Democrats don't.

    February 26, 2010 06:50 am at 6:50 am |
  15. puffery

    The redcoats are coming! Sound the alarm!

    February 26, 2010 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  16. puffery

    Brownshirts coming too! And jackbooted thugs...all part of Obamey's Army!!!

    February 26, 2010 07:06 am at 7:06 am |
  17. Jason Francis

    Exactly how many Republicans did you poll?

    February 26, 2010 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  18. Allen in Hartwell GA

    In my humble opinion most of the Republican-Independants and all of the Republicans are worried about their right to lie, cheat, and steal their way to financial independance. They aren't worried about their right to live their lives as good Christians or US citizens. What rights are being threatened by government?

    February 26, 2010 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  19. Fair is Fair

    "only 37 percent of Democrats"

    Go figure. The other 63% of democrats are either federal employees, in unions, or perpetually have their deadbeat hands outreached looking for yet another handout from the nanny government.

    February 26, 2010 07:14 am at 7:14 am |
  20. givemecrat

    when it is mandated that YOU WILL CARRY INSURANCE or be fined
    it sure looks like the regime is starting to take over
    when the majority of the people say we need to start over on the health care bill and the regime says WE DONT HAVE TIME when they had time to stall it themselves for a year. yea I am afraid they are on track to step on our rights and freedom . I have yet seen a leftist free society, that has the freedom that we should cherish here. you cant grow a big government that doesnt your freedom because they become your employer and council and supplier. can you chavez

    February 26, 2010 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  21. AJ

    And hysteria rules. Its interesting that when Bush was tapping peoples phones no one was concerned. Americans are really as stupid as a box of rocks.

    February 26, 2010 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  22. Mark

    Obama is clueless!!!!

    Why did I vote for him?????

    February 26, 2010 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  23. Brian in DC

    It is no surprise with Heir Bama, Comrade Pelosi, and Comrade Reid. These dolts are power hungry as are most politicians. Boot them all out in 2010 and 2012.

    February 26, 2010 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  24. Black Viper

    Then ask people to give away medicare, medicaid andtheir social security checks. So we don't need government
    Let's shut down all government regulatory entities
    Let's make everybody drive airplanes
    Let's free companies sell anything they want to anybody they want for profit..
    Lrt's destroy our environment
    Let's allow all retarded people by guns
    Let's free criminals on the street
    What else..........

    February 26, 2010 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  25. Jon

    Wow, 63% of independents think the Gov't is a threat to citizens' rights? Methinks the Dems are not going to fare so well this November.

    February 26, 2010 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12