Majority of Americans Believe Federal Government is Too Powerful

Katie Pavlich

5/28/2013 8:19:00 AM - Katie Pavlich

According to a new Gallup Poll, the majority of Americans believe the federal government is too powerful.

Americans' views of federal power have become a renewed focal point in recent weeks with allegations that the IRS used its power to selectively audit certain types of organizations, and news reports of Justice Department investigations into Associated Press and Fox News records and emails. It does not appear, however, that these news stories have dramatically altered Americans' views of the federal government's power. The 54% who now say the federal government has "too much power" is in the same general range as it has been since 2005.

Only 8% of Americans say the federal government has "too little" power, while 36% say the government has about the right amount of power.

As would be expected, there is a major gulf between Republicans' and Democrats' views on this issue. More than twice as many Republicans (76%) as Democrats (32%) say the government has too much power, with a majority of independents coming down on the same side as Republicans.

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Meanwhile, the Tea Party has seen an increase in popularity in light of the IRS inappropriately targeting conservative groups according to Rasmussen Reports.

Favorables for the Tea Party have jumped since news broke that the Internal Revenue Service was targeting the grassroots movement and other conservative groups.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 44% of Likely U.S. Voters now have a favorable opinion of the Tea Party. That's up 14 points from January  but still down from April 2009's high of 51% when the Tea Party protests against President Obama’s spending policies first erupted.

Forty-four percent (44%) also now view the Tea Party unfavorably, although that's down five points from earlier this year. The latest findings include 18% with a Very Favorable opinion of the movement and 25% with a Very Unfavorable one. Thirteen percent (13%) are undecided.