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Biden’s Dilemma, Part 3: Public Demand for ‘Very Major’ Government Reform is Running High

The latest in a series of infographics on Americans’ views of government reform heading into the 2024 election. 

President Biden heads toward the 2024 presidential campaign with the federal government’s job rating in decline, support for a smaller government increasing, and the demand for major government reform at a 30-year high. This series of charts and graphs explores the current landscape when it comes to Americans’ views of government reform.

The demand for major government reform has increased since 1997 and shows no sign of slowing. Driven by familiar divisions on spending, economic performance, globalization and social issues, partisans often soften their demand for reform when their party holds the presidency.

In 2010, with a Democrat president in office, 41% of Democrats favored very major reform, compared with 65% of Republicans. Ten years later in 2020, with a Republican running for a second term, 52% of Republicans favored very major government reform, compared with 74% of Democrats.  

Now, with President Biden moving toward an announcement of a run for reelection in 2024, 49% of Democrats favor very major reform, along with 83% of Republicans. 

The trend lines and analyses presented in this series come from stand-alone random-sample surveys conducted by Lake Research Partners, Maguire Research Services, the Pew Research Center, SSRS, and the University of Pennsylvania Annenberg Public Policy Center. Occasional data points were also harvested from search engines managed by survey aggregators such as, the Roper Center’s iPOLL database, and publicly available Pew Research Center surveys dating back to 1997. All survey findings were based on random-sample surveys of at least 1,000 respondents interviewed by cell phone and landline, with estimated error rates of 3% to 4% at a 95% confidence level.