CNN Poll: Trust in Government Plummets to a New Low

Friday, 08 Aug 2014 06:57 AM

By Melanie Batley

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The public's faith that the government can be trusted to do what's right has hit an all-time low, dipping below levels seen even at the height of the Watergate scandal when President Richard Nixon was on the verge of impeachment, a new poll has found.

In a CNN poll conducted July 18-20 of 1,012 adults, just 13 percent of respondents said they believe the government can be trusted to do what is right always or most of the time, while over three-quarters of Americans said it can only be trusted some of the time.

Ten percent said they never trust the government, the survey found.

"The number who trust the government all or most of the time has sunk so low that it is hard to remember that there was ever a time when Americans routinely trusted the government," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said in a statement.

Vote Now: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama's Job Performance?

The release of the poll comes on the eve of the 40th anniversary of Nixon's resignation. At that time, the public's trust in government was much higher than today's, though the scandal, which broke out in 1972, significantly damaged faith in the government.

Specifically, in 1972, 53 percent said they trusted the government always or most of the time. By 1974, trust in the government had dropped to 36 percent.

Since then, public faith in the government has remained under 50 percent except for a brief period immediately following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the poll noted.

A Wall Street Journal/ NBC poll released earlier this week also highlighted negative sentiment toward the government. A total of 79 percent of Americans said they are dissatisfied with the president and the American political system.

Vote Now: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama's Job Performance?

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