It doesn’t matter if it’s on a local, state, or federal level; the majority of American voters simply do not trust the U.S. government. And the number that feel this way is growing.
According to the latest findings, a whopping 85% of likely U.S. voters see the federal government as “corrupt,” while 41% described the federal government as “very corrupt.” On the other end of the spectrum, a slim 11% of American voters disagree. An even smaller minority, two percent, think the federal government is “not at all corrupt.”
On the state level, 63% believe their government is corrupt; 34% do not. This includes more than a quarter (26%) of American voters say their state government is “very corrupt,” while just six percent say their state government is “not at all corrupt.”
Voters are a little more optimistic when it comes to their local U.S. government, but still split. Almost half (48%) say their local government is “corrupt,” while an almost even 49% disagree. Within those numbers, 16% of American adults say their local government is “very corrupt,” while 13% see their local government as “not at all corrupt.”
Surprisingly, Republican voters are more prone to say their local, state, and federal officials are corrupt than Democrats and independent voters. That said, all three come together with their distrust of the federal government.
These numbers are much higher than they were in waning months of Barack Obama’s presidency in 2016. Over the course of the last year and a half, American voters have become more critical of the federal government. In February 2016, 81% of likely U.S. voters said the federal government was “corrupt,” with 33% agreeing that the federal government is “very corrupt;” 16% of voters disagreed. Still, two percent said the federal government was “not at all corrupt.”
Attitudes about local and state officials haven’t changed too much. By March 2016, half (49%) of likely U.S. Voters thought their local government was corrupt on some level, with 14% saying it’s “very corrupt.” A similar number, 47%, said their local government was not corrupt, with a solid 14% believing it’s “not at all corrupt.”
At the state level, 65% of likely U.S. voters described their officials as corrupt, including almost a third (29%) who think their state officials are “very corrupt.” A similar number (31%) do not think their state officials are corrupt, including seven percent who maintain they are “not at all corrupt.”
That’s still better than federal officials. In March 2016, 81%—the same number as in February—said the federal U.S. government was corrupt and a similar 33% thought the federal government was “very corrupt.”
“Voters Are Distrustful of Government At Every Level,” Rasmussen Reports, September 28, 2017.
“81% Think Federal Government is Corrupt,” Rasmussen Reports, February 3, 2016.
“Voters Say the Bigger the Government, the More Corrupt,” Rasmussen Reports, March 17, 2016.