Reason-Rupe Public Opinion Survey

Poll: 42% Say President Obama Has Expanded Presidential Power Too Much

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|||Barack Obama
Barack Obama

A recent Reason-Rupe poll finds 42 percent of Americans think President Obama has expanded the power of the government too much, while 21 percent think he hasn't expanded it enough and 30 percent say the president hasn't expanded presidential power.

It should come as little surprise that 66 percent of Republicans think the president has overstepped his bounds, while 70 percent of Democrats say he hasn't—which includes 30 percent who think he hasn't gone far enough.

As Americans age they also become more wary of presidential power. Young people are three times as likely as seniors to say President Obama hasn't expanded the power of the presidency enough—29 percent to 10 percent.  Similarly, a majority (52%) of Americans over 65 say President Obama has expanded presidential powers too much compared to 33 percent of Americans under 30. 

Age rather than cohort most likely explains these results. For instance, even though younger millennials were less supportive of President Obama in 2012 than older millennials, these younger millennials are also more likely than older millennials to say Obama hasn't expanded power enough (34 to 25 percent respectively). In other words, these young people may become more suspicious of government power as they age.

The Reason-Rupe national telephone poll, executed by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, conducted live interviews with 1000 adults on cell phones (500) and landlines (500) August 6-10, 2014. The poll's margin of error is +/-3.7%. Full poll results can be found here. including poll toplines (pdf)  and crosstabs (xls).