Gallup Poll: Confidence in Government, President at New Low

Monday, 30 Jun 2014 10:22 AM

By Andrea Billups

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America's trust for its government has reached new lows.

A Gallup poll released Monday found that confidence in all three government branches had fallen significantly, with just 7 percent of Americans saying they felt good about Congress, a historic dip, Politico reported.

To give that figure contrast, 42 percent of Americans said they had "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in Congress when Gallup first asked the question in 1943. Such recent erosion began in 2004 and has continued its slide ever since, Gallup noted.

"The current 7 percent of Americans who place confidence in Congress is the lowest of the 17 institutions Gallup measured this year, and is the lowest Gallup has ever found for any of these institutions," the polling organization wrote in releasing its latest data.

Gallup also noted public opinion's likely impact on the election cycle, moving ahead.

"The dearth of public confidence in their elected leaders on Capitol Hill is yet another sign of the challenges that could face incumbents in 2014's midterm elections — as well as more broadly a challenge to the broad underpinnings of the nation's representative democratic system."

Congress wasn't the only institution that received low approval. President Barack Obama's executive branch confidence rating fell to its lowest point since he took office as scandals over the IRS, Benghazi, border security, as well as his handling of the economy and global affairs, pushed his support to just 29 percent. The executive branch tanked hardest in Gallup's poll, dropping off 8 percentage points since 2013, Politico noted.

The judicial branch's Supreme Court fared nearly as poorly, marking just a 30 percent confidence rating, a drop of 7 percent since last year.

Gallup's most recent confidence poll of 1,027 Americans was taken June 5-8.

By contrast, while government trust has eroded, confidence in military is rising, with 74 percent of Americans giving it a thumbs-up, the poll found. Small business received a confidence approval of 62 percent, while police registered 53 percent, and church and organized religion was at 45 percent.

Not surprisingly, and in the wake of the difficult rollout of the Affordable Care Act and its website, HealthCare.gov, American confidence in its medical system and healthcare system hit 34 percent and 23 percent respectively.

Other recent polls have found similar dipping marks for the president. A Rasmussen Reports Presidential Tracking Poll released Monday found that 49 percent of likely voters approve of Obama's job performance while 50 percent disapprove. Just 24 percent "strongly approve" of the president while 38 percent "strongly disapprove."


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