WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — A new Gallup poll finds that Americans’ trust in the federal government to handle international problems has fallen to a record-low of 43 percent, with only 40 percent expressing confidence in Washington’s ability to handle domestic problems.
The annual Gallup Governance poll conducted from Sept. 4-7 records the record-low levels of confidence in the U.S. government as President Barack Obama prepares to address the nation Wednesday evening to outline his plan to deal with growing Middle East turmoil, including the threat of Islamic State militants.
The Gallup polls have shown a 17 percent slide in U.S. confidence in the federal government in recent years. Last year marked the first time that fewer than half of Americans trusted the federal government’s ability to deal with international threats amid the Obama administration’s plans for military action against Syria. Russia ultimately brokered a deal to avert military action.
Between 57 and 66 percent of Americans said they had a great deal or fair amount of confidence in the U.S. government to handle international problems during Obama’s first term in office. The same Gallup poll from one year ago showed that Americans had a 49 percent confidence level – dropping below the previous record low of 51 percent in 2007.
Trust in the federal government to handle domestic affairs has fallen to nearly half what it was when Gallup began recording the poll shortly after the Sept. 11 terror attacks. In October 2001, 83 percent of Americans reported they trusted the government’s ability to deal with international problems and 77 percent trusted its ability to handle domestic issues.
Democrats, independents and Republicans have all shown decreases in their trust of Washington lawmakers.
On partisan levels, Democrats show far more trust in the government’s ability to handle international problems, with 70 percent showing support for Washington – an 11 percent slide from 2012. However, only 39 percent of independents and 27 percent of Republicans agree – drops of 24 and 26 points, respectively.
Sixty-three percent of Democrats trust the U.S. government to handle domestic issues, compared to one-third of independents and 28 percent of Republicans.
A CNN/ORC poll released Tuesday showed similar signs of negativity for the federal government, with almost two-thirds of Americans saying they feel the current U.S. Congress is “the worst in their lifetime.”
Only 14 percent of Americans surveyed said they approve of the way Washington lawmakers are doing their jobs.
According to the CNN survey, 83 percent of those surveyed disapproved of the way Congress is doing its job and 65 percent feel the current crop of legislators is “the worst in their lifetime.”