Pew Research CenterFebruary 22, 2016

More Support for Justice Department Than for Apple in Dispute Over Unlocking iPhone

As the standoff between the Department of Justice and Apple Inc. continues over an iPhone used by one of the suspects in the San Bernardino terrorist attacks, 51% say Apple should unlock the iPhone to assist the ongoing FBI investigation.

Pew Research CenterNovember 23, 2015

Appendix A: Why partisans include ‘leaners’

Discussions of partisans throughout this report combine both those who identify with a party and those who lean toward one of the two major parties. Though Americans increasingly say they are politically independent, most of those who do not affiliate with a party lean Republican or Democratic. These partisan “leaners” tend to have attitudes and […]

Pew Research CenterNovember 23, 2015

Methodology

Survey conducted August 27-October 4, 2015 Most of the analysis in this report is based on telephone interviews conducted August 27-October 4, 2015 among a national sample of 6,004 adults, 18 years of age or older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia (2,113 respondents were interviewed on a landline, and […]

Pew Research CenterNovember 23, 2015

11. How government compares with other national institutions

The public expresses mixed opinions about the effect of several major nongovernmental institutions on the country. But in nearly all cases, the influence of these institutions is viewed more positively than that of the federal government – and especially Congress. Of 10 nongovernmental institutions included in the survey, majorities say four are having a positive […]

Pew Research CenterNovember 23, 2015

10. Government and taxes

While the public expresses a range of negative assessments of the government generally, there continues to be limited public outcry over personal tax burdens. At the same time, a majority say that most Americans want more from the government than they are willing to pay for in taxes. Paying their ‘fair share’ Slightly more than […]

Pew Research CenterNovember 23, 2015

9. Views of the nation, how it’s changing and confidence in the future

The public continues to express mixed opinions about the United States’ standing in the world. About half (52%) say the U.S. is “one of” the world’s greatest nations, while 32% say it “stands above” all others. Relatively few (15%) say there are countries that are better than the United States. Most Americans are not highly […]

Pew Research CenterNovember 23, 2015

8. Perceptions of the public’s voice in government and politics

Though the public is unhappy with government generally, Americans are largely divided on key measures of their ability to influence how it runs, including the impact of voting on government and the ability of motivated individuals to influence the way government works. When asked which statement comes closer to their own views, most Americans (58%) […]

Pew Research CenterNovember 23, 2015

7. Views of the political parties and how they manage government

The public continues to view the Democratic Party more favorably than the Republican Party. But neither party has a significant advantage when it comes to opinions about which could better manage the federal government. In addition, both parties are criticized for how they deal with the size and scope of government. Nearly six-in-ten (59%) say […]

Pew Research CenterNovember 23, 2015

6. Perceptions of elected officials and the role of money in politics

A major factor in the public’s negative attitudes about the federal government is its deep skepticism of elected officials. Unlike opinions about government performance and power, Republicans and Democrats generally concur in their criticisms of elected officials. Asked to name the biggest problem with government today, many cite Congress, politics, or a sense of corruption […]

Pew Research CenterNovember 23, 2015

5. Political engagement and views of government

As has been the case throughout the Obama presidency, Republicans hold considerably more critical views of government than Democrats across multiple measures. Today, 32% of Republicans and Republican leaners say they are angry with government; just 12% of Democrats and Democratic leaners say the same. And while three-quarters (75%) of Republicans say the federal government […]

Pew Research CenterNovember 23, 2015

4. Ratings of federal agencies, Congress and the Supreme Court

As in the past, the public expresses favorable opinions of a wide range of federal agencies and departments, but there are some notable exceptions. Currently, majorities give favorable assessments of 13 of the 17 agencies and departments tested; by contrast, fewer than half express favorable opinions of the Justice Department, the Department of Education, the […]

Pew Research CenterNovember 23, 2015

3. Views of government’s performance and role in specific areas

Amid a climate of deep distrust and frustration with government, the public’s ratings of the federal government’s performance in a range of areas stand out for being relatively positive. In 10 of the 13 areas tested in the survey, half or more say the federal government is doing a very good or somewhat good job. […]

Pew Research CenterNovember 23, 2015

2. General opinions about the federal government

Since the late 1990s, the public’s feelings about the federal government have tended more toward frustration than either anger or contentment. That remains the case today: 57% feel frustrated with the government, while smaller shares either feel angry (22%) or are basically content (18%). Yet while the public’s sentiments about government have not changed dramatically, […]

Pew Research CenterNovember 23, 2015

1. Trust in government: 1958-2015

The public’s trust in the federal government continues to be at historically low levels. Only 19% of Americans today say they can trust the government in Washington to do what is right “just about always” (3%) or “most of the time” (16%). Fewer than three-in-ten Americans have expressed trust in the federal government in every […]

Pew Research CenterNovember 23, 2015

Beyond Distrust: How Americans View Their Government

A year ahead of the presidential election, the American public is deeply cynical about government, politics and the nation’s elected leaders in a way that has become quite familiar. Currently, just 19% say they can trust the government always or most of the time, among the lowest levels in the past half-century. Only 20% […]

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Pew Research CenterNovember 23, 2015

Public Trust in Government: 1958-2015

Public trust in the government remains near historic lows. Only 19% of Americans today say they can trust the government in Washington to do what is right “just about always” (3%) or “most of the time” (16%). When the National Election Study began asking about trust in government in 1958, about three-quarters of Americans trusted […]

Pew Research CenterOctober 21, 2014

Ebola Worries Rise, But Most Are ‘Fairly’ Confident in Government, Hospitals to Deal With Disease

Survey Report Public concern about the spread of the Ebola virus in the U.S. has increased since early October. Currently, 41% are worried that they themselves or someone in their family will be exposed to the virus, including 17% who say they are very worried. In a survey two weeks ago, 32% worried about exposure […]

Pew Research CenterOctober 18, 2013

Trust in Government Nears Record Low, But Most Federal Agencies Are Viewed Favorably

Survey Report Public trust in the government, already quite low, has edged even lower in a survey conducted just before the Oct. 16 agreement to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling. Just 19% say that they trust the government in Washington to do what is right just about always or most of […]

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Pew Research CenterOctober 18, 2013

Public Trust in Government: 1958-2013

Public trust in the government, already quite low, has edged even lower in a survey conducted just before the Oct. 16 agreement to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling. Explore public attitudes towards the federal government over time and compare the data with other key national indicators, such as consumer sentiment, the […]

Pew Research CenterSeptember 30, 2013

Anger at Government Most Pronounced among Conservative Republicans

Survey Report With a possible government shutdown just hours away, public anger at the federal government is as high as at any point since the Pew Research Center began asking the question in 1997. Anger is most palpable among conservative Republicans – 41% say they are angry at the federal government, the highest among any […]