Poll finds nearly half say regulation is too high

According to the survey, 73 percent of Republicans say there is too much government regulation of business and industry, compared to 26 percent of Democrats.

That difference of opinion has widened since 2006, when the parties were only 4 percentage points apart. 

Still, the divide is smaller than two years ago, when 84 percent of Republicans reported that they thought there was too much government regulation and only 22 percent of Democrats agreed.

The partisan gulf has remained vast in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, when many blamed unregulated derivatives trades and other complex financial instruments for contributing to the economic downturn.

Though Americans tend to be skeptical about regulations in the abstract, they have indicated support for individual rules.

A Gallup poll from earlier this year found that 82 percent of the country believe the government is doing either the right amount or not enough to protect the environment, and two-thirds say they would support stricter standards for food sold in schools.

The survey was conducted from Sept. 5-8.