There is a new YouGov poll which asks Americans which government departments and programs they want to cut. It turns out that Americans are more than willing to cut foreign aid (no surprise) but on the whole, they are less likely to call for spending to be decreased for most government programs.
The poll gets really interesting when YouGov looks at the responses for Republicans. It turns out that Republicans have more budget cutting zeal than the average American, but not much more zeal:
When asked if they want to decrease funding for Foreign Aid, the Environment, Housing, and Unemployment Benefits, Republicans cross over the 50% threshold. Republicans are also more willing to support cuts to Mass Transit, Medicaid, Education, and "Aid to the Poor", but not by margins that exceed 50%.
Programs that are still popular? Highways, Scientific Research, Defense, and of course, Social Security and Medicare.
YouGov disaggregates the results even further looked at the the differences between Romney, Santorum, and Paul supporters. Only Ron Paul's supporters are slightly more willing to endorse cuts to Medicare, the main driver of the budget deficit.
The poll reflects three things that have been true for a long time but are always worth repeating:1. The Republican voting base is aware of which government programs they depend on and which ones they don't.2. The sort of programs that Republicans want to see cut are in the non-defense discretionary part of the budget. Which is not its largest part.3. Even though they want a smaller government then the average American, on the whole, the Republican voter does not actually want a Ron Paul style night-watchman state with only the most minimal of government.