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)

    WHAT A DEMOCRAT(Rep Rangle) surely we can find a way to blame this on Bush.Maybe the poll was wrong.It is CNN's fault.He has only had a year.It was Racism.

    February 26, 2010 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  2. Dorothy Fitzpatrick

    The rights of Americans were taken away during the Bush Administration. The Patriotic Act allowed the government to enter homes, arrest people, and interrogate them all under the guise of terrorism. Now, I am all for preventing terrorists from harming Americans any where in the world, but, especially on home soil.

    Perhaps the 1,023 adult Americans questioned in the poll forgot about the Patriotic Act, or, probably were only allowed to answer yes or no to the carefully selected questions.

    I think the survey is a farce. What geographic area was surveyed, and how were the people selected?

    February 26, 2010 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  3. southerncousin

    We are definitely being led in to a Hugo Chavez situation by this idiot that was installed in office by George Soros and SEIU/ACORN. For the libertards that degrade and demean the TEA party, the jig is up, you have managed to turn America against you with the smug, smarmy and elitist attitude you demonstrate. Hopefully, democrats will throw the people who hijacked their party out and be reborn as true democrats again. Otherwise we could slide in to a one party system for decades starting in November.

    February 26, 2010 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  4. Publiusj

    The Senate is breaking government, and we can all see that now. When the framers created the institution of the Senate, they built-in minority protections by allowing each state two Senators regardless of population. On its own, the Senate has adhered to a rule of only allowing an up or down vote on legislation after clearing a 60 vote hurdle. Over time, legislators have used this parliamentary tactic to essentially extort things for their home state from the Federal Government. If you want to fix government, fix the Senate.

    February 26, 2010 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  5. Lynn

    Please– oh please - call me just once for an opinion poll, Quit calling the same area codes and get some real opinions from free thinking Americans.

    February 26, 2010 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  6. haren

    Is it Because a African American is president?
    Where were this Americans when bush was opening our mails and and accessing our e-mail.
    Fighting two wars and passing prescription drug not worrying about budget deficit.
    My request to Democrats is let us pass Health care bill with Public option, enough of water down and doing back room deal to get 60 votes. Majority of Americans want to pass health care with public option.
    Get rid of lousiana,nebraska, connecticut purchase and pass the bill with 51 votes.

    February 26, 2010 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  7. DwayneL

    I would agree 100%!!!!!

    February 26, 2010 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  8. Walter

    The numbers are as expected for the Dems and Repubs – The interesting thing is the high number of Independentswho feel this way. This group increasingly seems to be shying away from the left. That has got to be cause for concern for Obama and company as November approaches.

    February 26, 2010 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  9. STP

    I find it interesting that when the last adminstration put procedures in place to protect the country from terrorist threats, the progressive liberals were up in arms. Where are they now? The BO aka Stinky administration says its ok to listen in on cell phones and no outrage. I guess its ok because they started with Americans dont mind having their cell phones monitored. Progressives I guess need to be told how to think

    February 26, 2010 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  10. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Exactly what freedoms have we lost since 11-04-08? The only threat in the gov't that I see is the resident domestic taliban the GOP.

    February 26, 2010 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  11. Al J

    What's new? This is exactly what the Founders believed too. Time to return to the Constitution and drop the creeping Marxist agenda being promoted by the leftists loons of the Democrat party.

    February 26, 2010 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  12. Jan Knox

    The big news here, to me, is that it's not 100%! With the unprecedented government takeover under Barak Hussein Obama and his far-left, marxist-loving, administration, it's a wonder. Chicago politics on steroids has been on display, thanks to Fox News, and "We, The People" don't like it. Go figure! Sleeping giants have woken from their deep sleep...thank God!

    February 26, 2010 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  13. Michael Eckersley

    Most surveys have the questions so loaded that they do not necessarily reflect the true opinion of the citizens

    February 26, 2010 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  14. Jeffer65

    Enough with these polls! They poll 100 people, and by that they assume "the majority" of Americans feel a certain way. What a crock!

    February 26, 2010 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  15. Randyrr

    Wow, most have known this for quite a while. I hope the politicians are listening.
    nah,, just wishful thinking

    February 26, 2010 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  16. Liz

    What this poll shows is that the vast majority of republicans are fearful, paranoid people easily manipulated by their party to believe all sorts of crazy things. They are so far out of touch with reality, it's positively scary. And these people say they want 'their country back.' Well, you can't have it back, you broke it! Now get out of the way and let the smart people fix it!

    February 26, 2010 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  17. Roy Sparks

    Since Obama took office, I've become more afraid of our own government that almost any foreign power. Sadly, there are many like me.

    Even sadder is the fact that creating fear in America is exactly what Obama wants to do.

    February 26, 2010 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  18. Renny

    Government is only broken when Dems. are in administration.

    NYC was "ungovernable" until Giuliani cleaned up the streets, cut welfare in half, cut taxes, promoted tourism and the financial industry, and then SUDDENLY, NYC was governable again.

    DC is only "broken" because the vast Dem. majorities in House and Senate cannot solve their internal disorganization and disputes or Obamanationcare would've passed last summer.

    Cheers to the Reps. who stood up to arrogance, stupidity, disinterest, and boredom in yesterday's summit. You are winning the country back.

    February 26, 2010 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  19. dlb-Texas

    The poll indicates that Americans are generally optimistic, even in the face of very challenging times. Yet, the fact is our country is broken. The more educated we are on the issues of the day, the more "broken" things appear. Because of our Judeo/Christian foundation and heritage, many of us run to our source of true help: wisdom from God. But our human nature also cries out for one true patriot. We wanted to believe that President Obama could offer change and true leadership, working with members of both parties. Now it is CLEAR..that he offers his own agenda even while our country suffers. If it were not for the deep seated hope in godly wisdom as an individual citizen, I would feel hopeless. That is why tea parties, etc strike a cord with many of us, even if we choose not to participate. We are trying to have some control over our lives because it is "PERFECTLY CLEAR" that Washington can NOT be trusted to do the right thing.

    February 26, 2010 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  20. Pastor Paul J

    But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security

    February 26, 2010 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  21. Sissy

    Of course the government is a threat to individual rights, you dolts. Why do you think the Bill of Rights exists in the first place. Government, in whatever form, will inherently seek to invade the rights of its citizens. That's not always bad, such as in most law enforcement contexts, but it's just a reality. How can anyone possibly think any powerful government is voluntarily going to look out for weak, powerless you?

    February 26, 2010 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  22. Fran L

    How can you tell when the president is lying. Watch his mouth, it it mouths he is lying. His actions are telling us what he is. Slowly taking control of our freedoms. Stand up America before Freedom is gone.

    February 26, 2010 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  23. Jose Wasabi

    The poll further shows how Democrats are so willing to give up their freedom. Completely out of touch. They are determined to make the country socialist.

    February 26, 2010 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  24. Ed Hartwell

    I think when the Ttransportation Security Administration (TSA) goes around airports taking swabs of American Citizen's hands without express permission of the individual - that is going too far. I, for one, do not want to be so secure that I have NO personal FREEDOM.

    Frankly, I would rather see two or three U. S. Air Marshals, with a license to kill, on every flight, than to have my personal privacy invaded by those Federal morons. Right now, I'd rather drive than to put up with the hassle at an airport.

    Prediction: Within ten years, citizens will not be allowed to travel state to state wtihou proper Gov't approved documentation - all in the name of security. As the Gastapo would say in NAZI Germany, "Where are your papers?"

    February 26, 2010 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  25. Jon24

    Well at least the majority is getting it right this time!!

    February 26, 2010 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
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