Former President Ronald Reagan once famously said that “the nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.” And even decades later, it seems Americans still agree with the sentiment.
According to a new poll from Fox News, a full 6 in 10 American voters say they generally do not trust their federal government. It’s bad news for President Joe Biden and his fellow Democrats in Congress, whose entire agenda rests on the idea that Americans have faith in their ability to lead.
As of the latest survey, it seems Biden and company are far from the country’s most trustworthy figures.
Crunching the numbers
According to Fox, the poll was conducted between May 22 and May 25 and surveyed 1,003 registered voters. It had a margin of error of 3%.
As part of the survey, respondents were asked: “Overall, would you say you generally trust the federal government, or not?” It’s a question Fox says it’s been asking since 2002, when as many as 54% of voters said they had faith in Washington in the wake of the terror attacks of 9/11.
Some two decades later, the numbers have changed dramatically. According to Fox, just a third — 34% — of respondents to its latest survey said they trust the federal government.
A full 60% said they don’t trust the government. Six percent were unsure, Fox said.
Breaking it down
Looking more deeply at the demographic breakdowns, it’s evident that trust in the government varies quite a bit based on race and geographical location.
For example, only 28% of white voters trust the government, according to the poll, while 52% of non-white voters said the same. That includes 59% of Black voters who said they trust the federal government, as well as 47% of Hispanic respondents to the poll.
Geography-wise, 46% of urban voters trust the government, Fox said, compared to 32% of suburban voters and 27% of rural voters.
As for party affiliation, a mere 16% of Republicans currently trust the government — which, given Biden’s current policy positions, should probably come as little surprise. Meanwhile, a whopping 55% of Democrats said they currently trust the politicians in Washington.
But based on the overall results, Dems are the outliers. By and large, Americans don’t seem to like what they’re seeing from their elected leaders. If something doesn’t change soon, Washington could be turned on its head come November 2022.