Americans Still Trust Their Local Government, Even as Faith in Washington Crumbles

Blame the remoteness of D.C., or its partisan rancor.

Image
Orhan Cam / Shutterstock.com

Americans' faith in the feds is fading, but trust in state and local government is rising substantially.

According to survey results released today by the Gallup organization, roughly two-thirds of Americans express a fair or great deal of trust in state government and even more — almost three-quarters — trust local government. The chart below graphs the trend over time. Gallup notes: "Trust in state government has now essentially returned to levels seen before the financial crisis, after falling to as low as 51 percent in 2009."

Chart courtesy of Gallup

Just 10 percent of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing — a record low — according to a Gallup report this past August. According to another Gallup poll a year ago, 81 percent of Americans reported dissatisfaction with how the country is being governed, 82 percent said they disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job, and 57 percent said they have little or no confidence in the federal government to solve domestic problems.

In today's survey, Gallup concludes:

Americans typically have expressed greater trust in state and local governments than in the federal government. That may be because the federal government is more remote to citizens than their state and local governments. It may also reflect the obviously partisan nature of the federal government, whereas state governments nationwide are divided between Republican and Democratic control, and many local governments are nonpartisan in nature.

Top image: Orhan Cam / Shutterstock.com

About the Author

  • Richard Florida is Co-founder and Editor at Large of CityLab.com and Senior Editor at The Atlantic. He is director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto and Global Research Professor at NYU. More
    Florida is author of The Rise of the Creative ClassWho's Your City?, and The Great Reset. He's also the founder of the Creative Class Group, and a list of his current clients can be found here