The Obama effect: Government regulations divide the parties more than ever before

by Ryan Streeter on August 20, 2012. Follow Ryan on Twitter.

Pew re-posted numbers this morning from its poll earlier this year showing how government regulation of business is a growing wedge issue:

Fully 76% of Republicans say that government regulation of business does more harm than good, among the highest percentages ever. Just 41% of Democrats agree — a difference of 35 percentage points. In 2007, identical proportions of Republicans and Democrats said government regulation of business did more harm than good (57% each).

From IPAB in ObamaCare to the post-housing-crisis consumer protection agency to an increasingly aggressive EPA, President Obama has made no mystery of his belief that Americans are better off when the government is actively trying to control and regulate economic activity. Bill Clinton was quite a bit different on this point. He knew how to communicate his appreciation for the market and business activity. Obama, by contrast, almost always speaks of private enterprise in terms ranging from skepticism to downright hostility. Regulations are the way to rein in the pernicious market.

So we might call the following chart from Pew “the Obama effect.” He’s split Republicans and Democrats more widely than ever on the issue of regulations: