37% of Voters Fear the Federal Government

Secretary Of Defense Leon Panetta Hosts Ceremony At Vietnam Veterans MemorialThirty-seven percent (37%) of Likely U.S. Voters now fear the federal government, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Forty-seven percent (47%) do not, but another 17% are not sure.

Perhaps in part that’s because 54% consider the federal government today a threat to individual liberty rather than a protector. Just 22% see the government as a protector of individual rights, and that’s down from 30% last November. Slightly more (24%) are now undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

As recently as December 2012, voters were evenly divided on this question: 45% said the federal government was a protector of individual rights, while 46% described it as a threat to those rights.

Two-out-of-three voters (67%) view the federal government today as a special interest group that looks out primarily for its own interests. Just 17% disagree, while 15% are undecided.

Only 19% now trust the federal government to do the right thing most or nearly all the time, down from 24% in June of last year. Eighty percent (80%) disagree, with 44% who trust the government to do the right thing only some of the time and 36% who say it rarely or never does the right thing.

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