Rasmussen published a very interesting survey, It reflects an America that really understood the need and reasons for last weeks tea parties as by a 51 to 33% margin they viewed those Tea Parties favorably. Even a majority of “mainstream” Democrats viewed the Tea Parties favorably.
Also released by Rasmussen was a survey that says America is afraid that the government will tinker with the economy too much, and we are worried that our kids will be worse off than we are.
Interestingly enough the numbers show a big difference between mainstream and political adults. It sounds as if they are not listening:
51% View Tea Parties Favorably, Political Class Strongly Disagrees
Fifty-one percent (51%) of Americans have a favorable view of the “tea parties” held nationwide last week, including 32% who say their view of the events is Very favorable.
Thirty-three percent (33%) hold an unfavorable opinion of the tea parties according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Fifteen percent (15%) are not sure.
While half the nation has a favorable opinion of last Wednesday’s events, the nation’s Political Class has a much dimmer view—just 13% of the political elite offered even a somewhat favorable assessment while 81% said the opposite. Among the Political Class, not a single survey respondent said they had a Very Favorable opinion of the events while 60% shared a Very Unfavorable assessment.
One-in-four adults (25%) say they personally know someone who attended a tea party protest. That figure includes just one percent (1%) of those in the Political Class.
David Axelrod, a top adviser to President Obama, on Sunday characterized the protests in dozens of cities on the day federal income taxes are due as potentially “unhealthy.”
Fifty-eight percent (58%) of Americans say they followed recent new stories about the tea party protests, including 32% who followed Very Closely. Forty-one percent (41%) say they didn’t follow the reports.
Republicans were far more interested in the protests than others. Seventy-six percent (76%) of Republicans followed news reports, with 50% following Very Closely. By comparison, just 47% of Democrats and 50% of adults not affiliated with either major party say they followed the reports at least somewhat closely.
Just 32% of the Political Class was following along. Among those with populist, or Mainstream, views, 68% were paying attention.
While 83% of Republicans and a plurality (49%) of unaffiliated Americans have a favorable view of the tea party protests, only 28% of Democrats say the same.
The Political Class and Mainstream classifications are determined by the answers to three questions measuring general attitudes about government.
Most Americans trust the judgment of the public more than political leaders, view the federal government as a special interest group and believe that big business and big government work together against the interests of investors and consumers. Only seven percent (7%) share the opposite view and can be considered part of the Political Class.
On many issues, there is a bigger gap between the Political Class and Mainstream Americans than between Mainstream Republicans and Mainstream Democrats. That was true on the tea parties, but Mainstream Republicans do express a more positive view of the protests than Mainstream Democrats. Still, a majority (54%) of Mainstream Democrats had a favorable opinion of the tea parties.
While Americans are slightly more optimistic about the economy’s improvement in the short term, they are growing more concerned that the government may do too much to try to help things along.
Forty-five percent (45%) of Americans adults now think most people get involved in politics to protect themselves from what the government might do.
1* How closely have you followed recent news stories about the “tea party” protests?
32% Very closely
26% Somewhat closely
28% Not very closely
13% Not at all
2% Not sure
2* Do you personally know anyone who attended a tea party protest?
4% Not sure
3* Do you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable or very unfavorable impression of the tea party protests?
32% Very favorable
19% Somewhat favorable
15% Somewhat unfavorable
18% Very unfavorable
15% Not sure
take our poll - story continues below
NOTE: Margin of Sampling Error, +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 52% of the nation’s Likely Voters now worry that the government will do too much. That’s up from 50% a month agomid-February. It’s the highest level of concern measured since Barack Obama and 43% in was elected president.
The number who worry that the government will do too little has fallen sharply to 31%. That’s down nine points from 40% a month ago and 12 points from 43% two months ago.
By mid-February, with the economic indicators continuing to show weakness and the congressional debate over the stimulus package in full swing, 43% were concerned the government would do too much, and an identical number (43%) were concerned it would do too little. Since then, the pendulum has begun swinging back in the other direction.
Not surprisingly, there is a huge gap on this topic between the Political Class and everyone else. By a 56% to 18% margin, the Political Class is worried the government will do too little in response to the economic challenge. Those with populist, or Mainstream, views, have an entirely different perspective. By a 67% to 22% margin, they are concerned the government will do too much.
On many issues, there is a bigger gap between the Political Class and Mainstream Americans than between Mainstream Republicans and Mainstream Democrats. When it comes to concerns about the government response to the economic crunch, Mainstream Republicans tend to be concerned that the government will do too much while Mainstream Democrats are evenly divided as to whether the government will do too much or too little.
Overall, 58% of men worry that the government will do too much, a view shared by 46% of women.
A majority of those over 30 also worry that the government will do too much. However, among those 18-29, just 37% worry the government will do too much and 46% worry it will do too little. An earlier survey found that adults under 30 were evenly divided as to whether capitalism or socialism is a better system.
Those who earn under $40,000 a year are evenly divided on the question. Those who earn more than $40,000 a year are more concerned than the government will do too much.
It’s interesting to note that just before the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothersgovernment already had too much control of the economy.Over the past couple of months, the Rasmussen Consumer and Investor Indexes have shown confidence bouncing back from all-time lows. The gains have been driven primarily by growing confidence about the economy’s future. Still, most Americans now believe today’s children will not be better off than their parents.
became front-page news, 51% of voters said the