September 19, 2012

Growing Partisan Divide over Social Safety Net

35

With GOP support for the safety net dropping, the gap between the parties over whether the government should take care of those who cannot care for themselves stands at 35 points

The partisan divide over the government’s responsibility to care for the poor has widened and now stands at 35 points.

Just 40% of Republicans agree that “It is the responsibility of the government to take care of people who can’t take care of themselves,” down 18 points since 2007. Among Democrats, 75% agree with this statement. In 2007, 79% agreed.

On three safety net measures in the 2012 values survey, the percentage of Republicans asserting a government responsibility to aid the poor has fallen in recent years to 25-year lows.

While a majority of the public overall has consistently agreed that it is the responsibility of government to take care of people who can’t take care of themselves, this slipped to 59% in 2012 from 63% in 2009 and 69% in 2007. Read More