|Fears shared by highest percentage of Americans
||Percent Afraid or Very Afraid
|Corruption of Government Officials
|Corporate Tracking of Personal Information
|Government Tracking of Personal Information
|Running of out Money in the Future
|Credit Card Fraud
This is … bizarre. But perhaps not completely surprising, given that other surveys have found upward trends in the shares of Americans who believe A) government corruption is widespread, and B) government is untrustworthy.
Even so, these surveys have never asked about whether Americans were terrified of such apparently ubiquitous corruption.
I was curious whether fears of government corruption varied much by political ideology, so I asked the researchers at Chapman to send me a breakdown of the data. It turns out that those who self-identify as conservative or extremely conservative are most likely to be afraid of government corruption. But a majority of every ideological group shares this fear, except (very narrowly) those who lean liberal.
Conservatives and extreme conservatives are also more likely than others to say they’ve voted for a specific political party or candidate as a result of their fears.
Note that this question referred to voting as a result of any fear at all, not necessarily fear of government corruption. That said, lots of other political/government-related terrors were close to the top of the survey’s list of most widely held fears. These included government tracking of personal data (41.4 percent), gun control (36.5 percent) and Obamacare (35.7 percent).
Obamacare actually frightens a higher share of Americans than does becoming seriously ill or dying. Which seems ironic at first, and then when you think about it, makes complete sense. You’d have to not fear illness or death to be really, truly terrified of Obamacare.