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Tags: gallup | poll | federal government | democrats | gop

Gallup Poll: Trust in All Three Federal Branches Remains Low

Poll (Dreamstime)

By    |   Tuesday, 11 October 2022 12:07 PM EDT

Americans' trust in all three branches of the federal government continues to decline, according to a new Gallup Poll.

According to the polling firm's annual Governance survey, Americans' trust in the judicial branch of the federal government currently sits at 47%, which is below the majority level for the first time in Gallup's polling history.

At 43%, trust in the executive branch is not much better and is just 3 percentage points above its record low from the Watergate era.

Trust in the legislative branch is even lower, at 38%; this figure has dipped as low as 28% in the past, according to Gallup.

When Gallup first began measuring trust in the federal government in 1972, at least two-thirds of Americans reported trusting in each branch and majorities trusted all three branches as recently as 2005.

While trust levels in the executive and legislative branches are similar to measures from a year ago, there has been a decline in trust in the judicial branch, which likely stems from recent controversial rulings by the Supreme Court.

Consistently the lowest of the three branches since 2009, trust in the legislative branch has not risen above 40% since 2010, including the record-low of 28% found in 2014. Americans' trust in the executive branch has generally remained below 50% since 2006, with the exception of several measures during former President Barack Obama's time in office.

The poll found that Americans are much more trusting of their state and local governments, at 57% and 67% respectively, than any branch of the federal government. Historically, trust in state and local governments has been more constant than in the three federal branches.

State and local trust levels are currently below their former averages of 63% and 70%, respectively, but only slightly.

According to the poll, trust in the branches of the federal government is primarily influenced by the match between a person's political party affiliation and the controlling party of the branch.

Because President Joe Biden is a Democrat and Democrats control both chambers of Congress, Democrats are much more likely to trust the executive and legislative branches than Republicans.

Republicans, however, are much more likely than Democrats to trust the Supreme Court, which is currently made up of six justices appointed by Republican presidents and three appointed by Democrats.

Trust gaps between political parties are greatest when it comes to the executive branch, where almost 80 points currently separate Democrat and Republican trust levels. The 42-point gap in the judicial branch's ratings is the largest Gallup has measured, while the 29-point gap in the legislative branch's ratings is four points below the 2009 measure.

Gallup's annual Governance poll was conducted Sept. 1-16 and surveyed 812 U.S. adults. The margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.

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Americans' trust in all three branches of the federal government continues to decline, according to a new Gallup poll.
gallup, poll, federal government, democrats, gop
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2022-07-11
Tuesday, 11 October 2022 12:07 PM
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