WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — Americans’ views of the federal government continue to fall to new lows, yet the public opinion of their local and state governments are seen in a more positive way.
A new Pew Research Center poll finds that 63 percent of Americans expressed a favorable opinion of their local government, and 57 percent said they were favorable of their state government – a five percent increase from 2012.
On the other hand, just 28 percent of Americans rated the federal government in Washington favorably – a 5 percent decrease from 2012.
And there is a new political punch line to Pew’s latest poll: For the first time since Barack Obama became president, more Democrats say they have an unfavorable view of the federal government in Washington than a favorable view (51 percent unfavorable vs. 41 percent favorable).
Favorable opinions of the federal government among Republicans were already quite low in 2012, with 20 percent replying favorably, but have fallen even further to 13 percent. Twenty seven percent of independents expressed a favorable opinion of the federal government.
The latest Pew Research Center poll was conducted nationwide from March 13-17 among 1,501 American adults. The survey found positive ratings across party lines for state and local governments.
Politically divided state governments received positive ratings from members of both parties. In the 13 states with divided governments – those in which the governor and a majority of state legislators are from different parties – majorities of both Republicans and Democrats express favorable opinions of their state governments.
Almost equal percentages of Democrats (56 percent), Republicans (57 percent) and independents (59 percent) have a favorable opinion of their state’s government. Similarly, local governments receive positive ratings from 67 percent of Democrats, 63 percent of Republicans and 60 percent of independents.
Overall, state governors received a positive rating from the public: 55 percent rate their state’s governor favorably, compared with 30 percent who hold an unfavorable view.