With the rise of so-called “outsider candidates” and the memory of several government shutdowns fresh in Americans’ minds, it should come as no surprise that Pew Research found that just 19 percent of Americans trust the government most of the time, if not always.
Pew Research Center isn’t the only polling service to conclude that the government is untrustworthy. In September, Gallup found just 45 percent of respondents said they trust the government to handle international affairs a ‘fair amount’ or a ‘great deal,’ and 38 percent said they trust them to handle domestic problems.
However, respondents to the Pew Research survey said that they believe the government is doing a good job in several key areas, including keeping the country safe from terror, setting workplace standards, ensuring safe food and medicine and responding to natural disasters - all categories where the government scored a 72 percent approval rating, if not greater.
The government floundered in other areas, namely managing immigration, which scored the lowest at 28 percent approval, ensuring basic income for the elderly (48 percent) and helping people get out of poverty (36 percent).
Away from evaluating the government’s strengths in specific areas, 22 percent of respondents said they are “angry” at the federal government and another 57 percent are frustrated, although that has changed very little in the last year.
However, 32 percent of Republicans said they were angry with government and more likely than their Democratic and left-leaning counterparts to be mistrustful government and believe it requires major reform.