Americans fear the government is spying on them and are pessimistic about the nation’s future, surveys show
04/28/2023 // Cassie B. // Views

A survey that was recently carried out by Rasmussen Reports revealed that most Americans are concerned that their government is spying on them. While this may not be very surprising given the government's behavior in recent years, one interesting finding was that some groups of Americans were more worried about their own government spying on them than foreign spies.

In a national poll of likely American voters, 74 percent of respondents said they were either very or somewhat concerned that their government is spying on them. When broken down by party, 89 percent of Republicans felt this way, while 66 percent of Democrats expressed concern about it.

While 70 percent of likely Republican voters describe themselves as being “very concerned” about their government's spying activities, just 67 percent of people in this group said they were “very concerned” about spying on the part of foreign governments.

Meanwhile, just a quarter of the population said they were either not at all concerned or not very concerned about any potential government spying.

Overall, however, there is not a big difference in the way that Americans feel about spying activity on the part of their government versus that of foreign governments. In fact, 82 percent of Americans said they were concerned about foreign government spying on them overall, which is just 8 percent more than those who said they were worried about their own government doing so. Meanwhile, 17 percent of the population said that they were either not at all concerned or not very concerned about being spied on by foreign governments.


When it comes to national security, 45 percent of the respondents said they trust Republicans more when it comes to these issues, while just 41 percent identified Democrats as the most trustworthy party in this regard. However, people tended to vote down party lines on this issue, with 85 percent of Republicans trusting the Republican party more on national security and 79 percent of democrats saying they trust Democrats with these matters.

The poll involved 911 likely American voters and was conducted from April 17 to 19.

Americans have a largely negative view of America's present and future state

The results of the survey are not surprising, and they appear to be part of a broader overall negative sentiment toward the U.S. in recent times. A new poll from Pew Research Center carried out from March 27 to April 2 shows that Americans largely have a negative view of the current state of the U.S., with an overwhelming majority reporting being dissatisfied with national conditions and the economy, in addition to having a very dim view of the future.

Nearly six out of ten Americans said that life for individuals like them right now is worse than it was 50 years ago, while only 23 percent believe life is better today. Moreover, the share of Americans who said that life is worse today than in the past rose 15 percentage points since summer 2021, while the share of those who think it’s better dropped by a similar amount. Just under 20 percent said they were satisfied with how things are going in the U.S. right now, while 80 percent report being dissatisfied.

When asked to look ahead to 2050, sizeable proportions of Americans had a very negative view. For example, 66 percent said the American economy will be weaker, 81 percent said the gap between the rich and poor would grow, 77 percent feel the country will be even more politically divided than it is now, and 71 percent believe that America will be less important on the world stage.

Sources for this article include:

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