Trust in the federal government is near a 70-year low, according to a new poll, with Americans saying they’re exhausted by the division and disgusted with both major political parties.
The Pew Research Center poll, released Tuesday, found that just 16% of the public trust the federal government always or most of the time; only 4% of adults say the political system is working extremely or very well.
A quarter of U.S. adults do not feel well represented by either party, the survey revealed.
A growing share of the American public also dislikes both political parties, with nearly three in 10 expressing unfavorable views of both Republicans and Democrats — the highest share in 30 years.
With little more than a year to go before the next presidential election, and as congressional infighting threatens a government shutdown, 65% of Americans say they always or often feel exhausted when thinking about politics; 55% say they feel angry.
According to the survey, the top two words U.S. adults use to describe national politics are “divisive” and “corrupt.”
As younger generations make up greater shares of the population, the problem is likely to worsen.
Nearly 40% of those 18 to 29 expressed unfavorable views of both political parties, the poll found, compared to just 16% of those 65 and older.
Sixty-eight percent of U.S. adults say they at least somewhat wish there were more political parties to choose from, but also say they’re not necessarily convinced that having more options would make solving the country’s problems easier.
According to the survey, only 26% say more political parties would make it easier to solve the country’s problems; 24% say more parties would make it more difficult to solve problems.
There is broad bipartisan consensus on what Americans perceive as the political system’s biggest problems.
More than eight in 10 Americans agreed that “Republicans and Democrats are more focused on fighting each other than on solving problems.”
Americans also want term limits and age limits on those in government, with 87% expressing support for term limits and 79% expressing support for age limits. The age factor has gained widespread attention in light of congressional health scares and concerns about President Joe Biden’s advanced age and cognitive abilities.
The poll revealed that U.S. adults have become deeply cynical of people who run for public office, with 31% saying that “politicians” are the biggest problem facing the political system.
The poll was conducted July 10-16 and surveyed 8,480 U.S. adults, with some of the data based on a poll of 5,115 adults conducted June 5-11. The margin of error is plus/minus 1.5 percentage points.
Nicole Wells ✉
Nicole Wells, a Newsmax general assignment reporter covers news, politics, and culture. She is a National Newspaper Association award-winning journalist.
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