Americans' levels of trust in their political leaders – and in each other – have hit new lows, according to a Gallup poll released Wednesday.
The survey shows 56 percent of respondents say they trust the American people, and 42 percent say that about the nation's political leaders – down about 20 percentage points since 2004.
According to Gallup, the high point in trust in the American people was 86 percent in 1976; the high point in trust in political leaders was 68 percent in April 1974.
Americans' trust in political leaders went up to 66 percent in September 2008, in the midst of the presidential election campaign between then-Senators Barack Obama and John McCain.
"That increase represented the only major interruption in the steady decline in trust in political leaders over the past decade-plus," the pollster reports.
In 2004, 63 percent of Americans said they trusted the country's political leaders and 78 percent said they trusted the American people.
In other findings:
- 61 percent of Democrats, 37 percent of Republicans and 30 percent of independents say they trust America's political leaders.
- 58 percent of Democrats, 55 percent of independents and 53 percent of Republicans have a "great deal" or "fair amount" of trust in the American people.
The new survey's margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.
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