As pessimism over the economy and job creation rises, voters clearly see too many federal government regulations as more of an economic threat than too few. Voters believe burdensome government regulations stand in the way of lasting job growth, and this concern is likely to increase following actions taken by the National Labor Relations Board to prevent Boeing from expanding production in a right-to-work state.
In our April national survey, conducted jointly with the American Action Forum, we asked voters the following question:
Which possibility concerns you more: the federal government has too few regulations to hold private businesses accountable, or that the federal government has too many regulations that hurt the economy?
Voters clearly see too many federal government regulations as more of a threat than too few. By a margin of 55 to 36 percent, voters are more concerned that the federal government has too many regulations that will hurt the economy, rather than too few regulations to hold private businesses accountable. Republicans are more concerned about too many regulations by 77 to 16 percent, as are Independents by 55 to 35 percent. Only Democrats are concerned about too few regulations by 56 to 36 percent.
Voter concern over too many federal government regulations is found among all age, income, and education levels – including a majority of all union households.
This concern is shared among union households:
This concern is shared among all age groups:
This concern is shared among all income levels:
This concern is shared among all education levels:
This concern is shared among all non-urban voters:
With the exception of Hispanic voters who are split on this issue, a majority of the following voters believe there are too few federal government regulations to hold the private sector accountable. Yet there are still significant percentages of traditional Democratic voters who say there are too many regulations:
This survey of 1000 registered voters was conducted April 17-20, 2011. Respondents were selected randomly from a random-digit-dialing sample including both cell phone and landline telephone numbers. All respondents confirmed that they are registered to vote in the county in which they live. Quotas were set for state, age, and race based on state registration and previous turnout. The sample was minimally weighted to reflect the current Pollster.com Democratic advantage of four points over Republicans. This sample has 34 percent Democrat, 32 percent Independent, and 30 percent Republican.
The margins of error for responses with an even split – 50 percent for one response and 50 percent for another response – is ±3.10 percent for the full sample, ±5.66 percent for Republicans, ±5.43 percent for Independents, and ±5.31 percent for Democrats. The margin of error is smaller when one response receives a higher level of support. For example, the margin of error is ±2.68 percent when 75 percent of respondents in the full sample choose one response and 25 percent choose another response.