Fox News poll: Voters want Uncle Sam to 'Leave me alone'

A Fox News poll asks which of two messages voters would send to the federal government.  A 54-percent majority would tell Uncle Sam to “leave me alone,” while 35 percent would ask Washington to “lend me a hand.”

That’s just one of the findings from the poll, released Thursday, that asks likely voters about the role of government, the Democratic and Republican tickets and the future of the nation.

Democrats (59 percent) are nearly four times as likely as Republicans (15 percent) to say they would tell the government to “lend me a hand.”

Likewise, Republicans (80 percent) are about three times as likely as Democrats (27 percent) to say “leave me alone.”

Among independents, the message would be “leave me alone” for more than twice as many as it would be “lend me a hand” (63 percent and 25 percent respectively).

Meanwhile, the poll asks voters whether or not some of the criticisms being said about the presidential and vice presidential candidates are fair.

A 53-percent majority thinks it’s fair to say President Barack Obama wants to “change the country in a way that makes people more dependent on government.”  Some 44 percent think that’s an unfair description of him.

Views are more evenly divided on whether Republican challenger Mitt Romney wants to “change the country in ways that will make the rich even richer but will not help everyone else.” Some 47 percent say it’s fair to say that, while 49 percent say that’s unfair.

By a 14-percentage point margin, more voters (51 percent) think it’s unfair to say Romney’s running mate Paul Ryan has “extreme views and doesn’t care if he hurts seniors with his budget cuts” than think it’s fair to say that about him (37 percent).

And by an 11-percentage point margin, voters (52-percent) think it’s unfair to say the number of embarrassing gaffes Vice President Joe Biden’s made shows he’s not smart enough to be president.  Forty-one percent say that’s fair.

Finally, with less than 80 days until an election offering two different visions for the country, the poll shows 57 percent of likely voters believe the country is on the decline as a civilization.  In contrast, 31 percent think the United States is on the rise.  

A large 82-percent majority of Republicans and a sizable 67-percent majority of independents think the country is on the decline.  Democrats tend to hold the opposite view, with a 56-percent majority saying the U.S. is on the rise.

A majority of voters backing Obama in the race for the White House believe the country is improving (57 percent), while most of those backing Romney say the opposite (85 percent).

Among the small group of undecided voters who have yet to pick a candidate, 18 percent think the country is on the rise and 60 percent say it’s on the decline.

The Fox News poll is based on live telephone interviews on landlines and cell phones from August 19 to August 21 among 1,007 randomly-chosen likely voters nationwide.  Likely voters are registered voters who are considered most likely to vote in the November presidential election.  The poll is conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R).  For the total sample, it has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.