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If you had to choose, would you rather have a smaller government providing fewer services, or a bigger government providing more services? (Source: Pew Research Center for the People & the Press Poll, Jun, 2017)

Subpopulation/Note: Asked June 27-July 9.
Smaller government, fewer services

Bigger government, more services

Depends (Vol.)

Don't know/Refused


Survey by Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. Methodology: Conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, June 8 - July 9, 2017 and based on 5,009 telephone interviews. Sample: National adult. 1255 respondents were interviewed on a landline telephone, and 3754 were interviewed on a cell phone, including 2257 who had no landline telephone. Interviews were conducted June 8-18 and June 27-July 9, 2017. [USPSRA.100517.R030] (View Citation)


If you had to choose, would you favor a small federal government providing few services or a big federal government providing many services? (Source: Associated Press/Gfk Knowledge Networks Poll, Aug, 2012)

Small federal government providing few services

Big federal government providing many services

Refused/Not answered


Survey by Associated Press. Methodology: Conducted by Gfk Knowledge Networks, August 30 - September 11, 2012 and based on 1,071 online interviews. Sample: National adult. The poll was fielded by Gfk Knowledge Networks using its panel which is randomly selected from the entire national population and subsequently provided Internet access, if needed. [USAP.102712G.R55] (View Citation)


(All levels of government are frequently criticized for being both too big and too inefficient. One possible solution to this is to have a much smaller government that contracts with private companies to provide personnel and services just as the government now contracts with private companies to manufacture the products and machines it uses--cars, tanks, ships, business machines, etc. I'm going to name some different services, and for each one would you tell me if you think it would be a good idea or a bad idea to have the government subcontract it to private companies?)... The hiring for and running of fire departments (Source: Roper Report 85-4, Mar, 1985)

Good idea

Bad idea

Don't know

Dataset is available using RoperExpress VIEW DATASET ABSTRACT

Methodology: Conducted by Roper Organization, March 23 - March 30, 1985 and based on 2,000 personal interviews. Sample: National adult. [USROPER.85-4.R17D] (View Citation)


Dataset: USRPRR1985-04

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