Poll: Majority Opposes Using Government To Promote ‘Traditional Values’

A new CNN poll finds that support for using government to promote so-called “traditional values” has fallen to an all-time low:

Denver (CNN) – Hours before the first debate between President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney, a showdown that will focus on domestic issues, a new national survey indicates that Americans have undergone some major changes on the basic questions concerning the size and role of the federal government.

And according to a CNN/ORC International poll, the public expects a split decision, with a majority saying that Obama will win the presidential showdowns but that Rep. Paul Ryan, the GOP running mate, will win the one vice presidential debate.

The survey, released Wednesday, indicates that there have been major changes on attitudes toward the government.

“The biggest: The number of Americans who say that the government should promote traditional values has fallen to an all-time low, a finding that might benefit many Democrats,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

According to the survey, just four in 10 registered voters believe the government should promote traditional values, down from 53% in 2010 and 57% in 2008.

“Between 1993, when CNN began asking that question, and last year, a majority of respondents have always said that the government should promote traditional values. Now, for the first time, more than half say the government should not favor any particular set of values,” adds Holland.

At the same time, the poll also finds a large majority believes that government in general is doing too much:

But the poll also indicates the belief that the government is doing too much is also near historically high levels.

Six in 10 say the government is doing too much that should be left to individuals and businesses. That finding could favor Republicans.

Theoretically, that last number should inure to the benefit of Republicans, but given the fact that the GOP is also the party of promoting so-called “traditional values” means that they cannot really benefit from what seems to be a libertarian streak running through the nation at the moment. Unfortunately, the Republican Party has done everything possible to alienate libertarian-minded politicians and voters, just ask Gary Johnson.

FILED UNDER: Public Opinion Polls, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. MBunge says:

    Yeah, about that second thing? I’m willing to bet that the majority of that 6 in 10 couldn’t name off the top of their heads one specific program of any significance or expense that they’d like to see the government abandon.

    Mike

  2. Dave A says:

    Even worse, when actually given a list of programs and asked which to cut the majority of the members of the party primarily associated with government reduction selects “none of the above”

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/06/20/this-is-why-you-re-broke.html

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Theoretically, that last number should inure to the benefit of Republicans, but given the fact that the GOP is also the party of promoting so-called “traditional values” means that they cannot really benefit from what seems to be a libertarian streak running through the nation at the moment.

    This.

    People are tired of Govt’ telling them what to do, they are not at all tired of govt’ telling corporations what to do.

  4. Attention Republicans: Evolve or die.

  5. Clanton says:

    @MBunge: Here are a few that I would phase out or abolish:
    EPA, Endowment for Arts, Department of “Education”, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Project Head Start (states now do most of this), “Surgeon General” (one of the most ludicrous and ridiculous positions), FCC, ICC, Bureau of Reclamation, Selective Service System, Bureau of Economic “Analysis”.
    What bureaus, agencies, and departments would some of you like to do away with?

  6. swbarnes2 says:

    @Clanton:

    The EPA? So industry will just pollute as much as they want?

    What % of the federal budget do you claim your cuts would represent? .01%? Less?

  7. reid says:

    I can’t imagine why anyone would advocate for the elimination of the EPA, aside from unthinking wingnut douchiness.

  8. grumpy realist says:

    @Clanton: So you like getting arsenic in your water and mercury and lead in the air you breathe?

    We know what it’s like when you have industry without pollution control. It’s called China.

    And don’t just say “oh, we’ll leave it up to the tort system”. How much money would you think adequate to make up for the fact that you just developed a variety of tumors in your body because you were exposed to a whole bunch of heavy metal pollution for several years by the company that manufactured in your backyard. And how easy do you think it would be for you to actually bring a lawsuit, given that the big guns are all on the other side?

    You won’t be able to get medical assistance, by the way, because emergency rooms don’t treat this sort of stuff. And your medical insurance company will kick you out because your health problems are due to a “pre-existing condition”

    Having fun yet in your libertarian utopia?

  9. Al says:

    It doesn’t matter that most Americans don’t want the government promoting social conservative values. Social conservatives are monolithic and vote in the primaries. That makes them too tempting to ignore.

  10. matt says:

    @Clanton: I too miss flaming rivers.