New high: 54% want government to solve more problems in U.S.

For the first time in Gallup’s 28-year trend, a majority of Americans think the government should do more to solve the nation’s problems. As the U.S. continues to struggle with the coronavirus pandemic, the resulting economic downturn, and racial injustice issues, 54% of U.S. adults favor increased government intervention, while 41% think the government is doing too much that should be left to individuals and businesses.

The public’s desire for more government has increased seven percentage points since last year. This is one of the few times that government intervention has been favored over a more hands-off approach. The other instances have generally been when the U.S. has been facing a national challenge, including shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and in 1992 and 1993 amid high unemployment in the wake of an economic recession.

The latest findings, from Gallup’s Aug. 31-Sept. 13 annual Governance poll, are sharply politically polarized with more Democrats (83%) and independents (56%) than ever before favoring government intervention compared with far fewer Republicans (22%).