Fox Poll: Just 37% of Americans Trust Government After Scandals

Thursday, 15 May 2014 10:21 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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The ongoing scandals involving the IRS, the Benghazi attacks, and the government's electronic surveillance programs appear to be keeping Americans' trust in the federal government low, a new Fox News Poll reveals.

The poll, released on Thursday, showed that only 37 percent of 1,025 randomly selected voters trust the federal government, reports Fox News, while six out of 10 say they don't trust the government. Those numbers are down slightly from a high of 62 percent in June 2013 and July 2011.

Obama administration scandals are weighing heavily on voters' minds. A full 78 percent of voters said they considered the handling of the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi serious, with 52 percent saying it is a "very serious" matter.

In addition, just over half, or 53 percent, said they believe government surveillance programs are "very serious," and 44 percent said they think the IRS' targeting of conservative groups is also a very serious matter.

The poll showed Democrats to be far more trusting of the government than Republicans. Fifty-five percent of Democrats say they trust the government, while only 19 percent of Republicans said they do. In 2002, the first time Fox asked the question, 47 percent of Democrats said they trusted the government, increasing to 53 percent in February 2009, after President Barack Obama was inaugurated.

Meanwhile, 63 percent of Republicans trusted the government in 2002, dropping to 32 percent in 2009 after the inauguration.

Only about 25 percent of voters think Obama has lived up to his promise to run the most-transparent White House in history.

One-third of the voters surveyed said the Obama administration has been less open, up 9 points since 2010, Only about a quarter of voters think the Obama administration has lived up to the promise of being the most transparent White House in history.

The survey also found that 27 percent of voters think this White House is more transparent than others, down from 32 percent in 2010 and 2012. But 38 percent think the transparency of the Obama White House is about the same as that in other administrations.

The margin of error for the full sample is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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