Poll: Majority see current Congress, not political system, as hindrance to progress

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Americans are also seeing increasingly high stakes for the actions of their unpopular Congress. A majority — 53 percent — say the federal government "threatens your personal rights and freedoms." It's the first time that a majority of Americans have expressed that fear in the poll.

The concern over personal rights and freedoms is largely driven by conservative Republicans, more than three-quarters of whom say the federal government threatens their freedoms. More than half — 54 percent — see the government as a "major" threat to their freedoms.

Republicans are also far more likely to describe themselves as "angry" with the federal government, with 27 percent of Republicans and 31 percent of conservative Republicans saying they harbor those emotions. But that particular metric seems largely tied to the current occupant of the Oval Office: only 7 percent of Republicans and 6 percent of conservative Republicans said the same in 2006. By contrast, Democrats describing themselves as "angry" with the government are down 16 points from 2006, with liberal Democrats down 36 percent.

The survey of 1,502 adults carried a margin of error of 2.9 percent.