Fewer Are Angry at Government, But Discontent Remains High

Mar 03, 2011

The public remains deeply frustrated with the federal government, but fewer Americans say they are angry at government than did so last fall. Overall, the percentage saying they are angry with the federal government has fallen from 23% last September to 14% today, with much of the decline coming among Republicans and Tea Party supporters.

While anger at government has subsided, the public expresses no greater taste for political compromise today than it did last fall. As political leaders head into a tough political debate over the budget, 54% say they like elected officials who stick to their positions, while 40% prefer officials who make compromises with people they disagree with. This is virtually identical to the balance of opinion among registered voters last September.

By roughly two-to-one (63% vs. 32%), more Republicans say they like elected officials who stick to their positions rather than those who make compromises. About half of independents (53%) prefer politicians who stick to their positions compared with 41% who like elected officials who make compromises with people they disagree with. Democrats are evenly divided – 48% like elected officials who stick to their positions, 46% like those who compromise. 

Read the full report, Fewer Are Angry at Government, But Discontent Remains High, on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press Web site.

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