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