Poll: Even split nationally on Patriot Act

Americans are suspicious of government intrusion in their lives. They say it should be harder for the government than it is now to access personal information. Less than a third are happy with the current balance. But despite this skepticism, Americans in the latest Economist/YouGov Poll Americans are closely divided on what should happen next.

Majorities of Democrats and Republicans, liberals and Democrats agree the government has gone too far.

Americans divide on whether the Patriot Act, adopted after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, is a necessary tool to help the government find terrorists. The Act is up for renewal and Republicans, a majority of whom believed the act was a necessary tool in the war of terror four years ago, today divided. In Washington, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Presidential hopeful Senator Rand Paul are on opposite sides of the question. Paul conducted a filibuster against the extension, with a little help from Democratic Senator Ron Wyden.

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