23% Say U.S. Government Has the Consent of the Governed

Posted: July 19th, 2010 by Militant Libertarian

Rassmussen Reports (via LRC)

The notion that governments derive their only just authority from the consent of the governed is a foundational principle of the American experiment.

However, a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 23% of voters nationwide believe the federal government today has the consent of the governed. Sixty-two percent (62%) say it does not, and 15% are not sure.

These figures have barely budged since February.

There is no gender gap on this question. Younger voters are more likely than their elders to believe the government today has the necessary consent. Among voters under 30, 28% say the government has that consent. Just 15% of senior citizens share that view.

From an ideological perspective, most liberal voters (58%) think the federal government has the consent of the governed. Most moderates (57%) and most conservatives (84%) disagree.

Democrats are closely divided on the question. Republicans and unaffiliated voters strongly reject the notion that the government has the consent of the governed.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on July 12–13, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/–3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

In his new book, In Search of Self-Governance, Scott Rasmussen observes that the American people are “united in the belief that our political system is broken, that politicians are corrupt and that neither major political party has the answers.” He adds that “the gap between Americans who want to govern themselves and the politicians who want to rule over them may be as big today as the gap between the colonies and England during the 18th century.”

The book earned positive reviews from Larry Sabato, Pat Caddell, Bill Kristol, Joe Trippi and othersIn Search of Self-Governance is available from Rasmussen Reports and atAmazon.com.

Data released yesterday finds that 68% of voters believe the Political Class doesn’t care what most Americans think. Earlier polling shows that 59% are embarrassed by the behavior of the Political Class.

Rasmussen Reports has documented the wide gap between perceptions of the Political Class and Mainstream voters. To measure this gap, the firm has created a Political Class Index based upon three polling questions. Mainstream voters tend to trust the wisdom of the crowd more than the wisdom of politicians and are skeptical of the government and its relationship with big business.

Not surprisingly, only four percent (4%) of Mainstream Voters think the Political Class cares.

Over the past couple of years, most Americans have opposed many initiatives of the Political Class including the bailouts of the financial and auto industries. Additionally, most voters still favor repeal of the national health care plan and overwhelmingly disagree with the Justice Department’s decision to challenge Arizona’s new immigration law in court.

Fifty-five percent (55%) don’t even think most members of Congress pay all the taxes they owe.

Voters are evenly divided over the notion that a group of people randomly selected from the phone book could do a better job than the current Congress.

One reason for skepticism about the Political Class is that 70% believe Big Government and Big Business are on the same team working together against the rest of us.

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Reprinted from Rasmussen Reports.


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