Katie LaPotin, Red Alert Politics, September 30, 2013
No wonder Americans can’t trust the federal government, as they don’t even trust themselves when it comes to making decisions about the major political issues affecting the United States.
According to a new Gallup study released Monday, a record low 61 percent of Americans have trust in “the American people” to make important political decisions – a drop of nearly 20 points over the past eight years.
Democrats remain the most trusting in the American people at 68 percent, while only 57 percent of Republicans in 2013 have trust in the American people. These roles haven’t been reversed since President George W. Bush was in office in 2005. Independents are much more closely aligned with Republicans, with only 59 percent of Independents having trust in the American people.
There is a small silver lining for the optimists concerned for the America’s well-being based on Gallup’s new findings, however. The 61 percent number is still higher than the 46 percent of American people who trust the “men and women… who either hold or are running for public office,” and, shockingly, that’s not even the record low for that statistic.
The trust that Americans have in the government has trended downward over the past few years, the lone exception being a temporary spike in September 2008 when Americans viewed then-presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain more positively than any other recent pair of presidential candidates. The drop in trust could also be related to the fact that the American people, as a whole, have become more polarized in recent years.
A Rasmussen Reports study conducted earlier this month found that just seven percent of Americans think Congress is doing an excellent or good job. With the federal government just hours away from shutting down for the first time in 18 years, it’s unlikely that this number will increased anytime soon.
Gallup surveyed 1,510 adults nationwide via telephone from September 5-8, 2013. The margin of error for the study is +/- 3 percent at a 95 percent confidence level.