72 percent of Americans say big government is a greater threat to the U S in the future than is big business or big labor, a record high in the nearly 50 year history of the question by Gallup. Gallup says it has documented a steady increase in concern about big government since 2009, rising from 55 percent in March of that year to 64 percent in November 2011 and 72 percent today. Gallup claims the disastrous rollout of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, and government spying tactics revealed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, may be factors. Since Barack Obama took office, an average of 64 percent of Americans have named big government as the greatest threat which is up from 56 percent during George W. Bush's term. Republicans are more likely to be concerned about the government's size while Democrats are more likely to see government as a threat when a Republican is in office. However, Democrats tend to see government less threatening than Republicans. Meanwhile, a new Washington Post/ABC poll shows President Obama with a 43 percent approval rating and this lower approval rating is helping Republicans. A year ago, Obama enjoyed a 54 percent to 36 percent advantage over Republicans but now the GOP has a 45 to 41 percent edge and he has lost ground with women, liberals and young Americans, key members of his coalition. Disapproval of Obama's handling of health care has soared to 62 percent which disapproval of his handling of the economy is high at 55 percent.
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