Americans’ confidence in their elected officials has fallen to a historic new low in Gallup’s annual 2014 confidence in institutions survey. Only a scant 7% of citizens had a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in Congress, down from the previous record low of 10% logged in last year’s poll.
Gallup declared the number so low that it represents the “death of public confidence in their elected officials“:
The current 7% of Americans who place confidence in Congress is the lowest of the 17 institutions Gallup measured this year, and is the lowest Gallup has ever found for any of these institutions. The dearth of public confidence in their elected leaders on Capitol Hill is yet another sign of the challenges that could face incumbents in 2014’s midterm elections — as well as more broadly a challenge to the broad underpinnings of the nation’s representative democratic system.
Confidence in other major institutions also dropped from 2013 numbers. Most notably, confidence in the Presidency fell from 36% in 2013 to 29%, public schools fell from 32% to a new low of 26%, and trust in television news plummeted from 23% to 18%. Internet news was thought more trustworthy with 19% confidence.
In fact, every government institution lost confidence points this year. The Supreme Court and the police both dipped by 4%, while confidence in the criminal justice system fell by 5% and the military fell by 2%.
Here is the chart of the 2012-2013 Gallup survey to compare:
Links to original Gallup polls:
2013 – http://www.gallup.com/poll/163052/americans-confidence-congress-falls-lowest-record.aspx
2014 – http://www.gallup.com/poll/171710/public-faith-congress-falls-again-hits-historic-low.aspx