White House

Government should do more, voters say

Washington D.C., the site of the Federal government, October 31, 2014
Washington D.C., the site of the Federal government, October 31, 2014 McClatchy

Government should do more. But carefully.

That’s a key finding of a new bipartisan George Washington University Battleground poll. Fifty-two percent said government should do more, while 43 percent said government is doing too much.

Still, warned Republican pollster Ed Goeas, "voters want government to intervene, but they fear what the government will do if it wades into the important task of ensuring the economic stability of voters."

Other important trends in the Dec. 7-11 poll of 1,000 likely voters have remained largely the same for some time. Goeas and Democratic pollster Celinda Lake presented the findings Thursday at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast for the media.

Their survey found 69 percent say the nation is on the wrong track, roughly the same as was recorded in previous polls this year. President Barack Obama’s approval disapproval was 43-50 percent, similar to other readings in 2014.

The big concern is the economy. People want Congress to deal with the economy and jobs next year. Illegal immigration lags behind as a major concern, and foreign threats are mentioned by 9 percent.

"Voters economic anxiety is deep-seated and shows no signs of abating," said Democratic pollster Celinda Lake.

People are particularly concerned about the next generation, with roughly one in five saying they’ll be better off than the current generation.

Middle class voters are more pessimistic than upper or lower income people, and a majority saw the economy either getting worse or as poor and staying the same.