A majority of Americans still believe the government is trying to do too many things that should be left to individuals and businesses.
The latest Gallup Poll shows that 54 percent of those surveyed Sept. 6 to 9 believe the government is trying to do too much, although that is down from a record high of 61 percent this summer.
About four in 10 Americans, or 39 percent, say the government should do more to solve the nation's problems.
According to Gallup, only a few times in the company’s 20 years of asking the question have more Americans said the government should do more to solve the nation's problems than said the government is doing too much.
Two instances were in the fall of 1992 and again in early 1993, as Bill Clinton ran for and took office as president. Another was in October 2001, just after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, according to Gallup.
Americans have been most likely to respond that the government was working to do too much during the middle years of the Clinton administration, and in recent years during President Barack Obama’s administration.
The appropriate role of government in addressing the nation's problems continues to be one of the most divisive issues in this year's election.
Obama tends to support the idea that government should do more to address the country's problems, while his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, generally disagrees.
As such, two-thirds of Democrats (67 percent) think government should do more, while an even larger percentage of Republicans (82 percent) say government is doing too much that should be left to individuals and businesses.
More than six in 10 independents (62 percent) agree that the government is doing too much.
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