(CNS News) -- A recent Gallup poll shows that less than 50% of Americans have trust in either of the three branches of government -- President, Congress, Supreme Court -- and that this marks the "first time that none of the three branches is trusted by a majority of Americans."
Gallup asked Americans in the poll, “How much trust and confidence do you have at this time in [the executive branch headed by the president // The judicial branch headed by the U.S. Supreme Court // The legislative branch, consisting of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives] -- a great deal, a fair amount, not very much or none at all?”
For the Judicial Branch, 47% said they had trust in the institution; the Executive Branch only earned 43% trust; and only 38% of those surveyed said they had trust in the Legislative Branch.
Gallup commented, “The latest decline in Americans' trust in the judicial branch of the federal government -- to 47% -- means this is the first time that none of the three branches is trusted by a majority of Americans.”
“The average level of trust in the three branches is 43% this year, tying 2015 as the lowest in Gallup's history,” said the survey firm. “That year marked the previous low in trust in the judicial branch (53%); trust in the legislative branch (32%) was lower than it is now, and trust in the executive branch (45%) was similar to what it is today.”
While trust in the federal government is less than 50%, Americans still have a high amount of trust in their local governments.
Those taking the survey were asked, “How much trust and confidence do you have in the government of the state where you live when it comes to handling state problems -- a great deal, a fair amount, not very much or none at all?”
57% of Americans said they have a great deal of trust in their state governments.
When asked about their trust in local governments, 67% of Americans have trust in their local governments.
“Americans have been lacking trust in the three [federal] branches for over a decade,” reported Gallup. “Trust levels in the executive and legislative branches are similar to a year ago, but there has been a decline in trust in the judicial branch, likely tied to recent controversial rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court.”
“The erosion of trust is largely due to increasingly partisan evaluations of government institutions at a time when politics has become all-important,” said Gallup. “Republicans and Democrats are inclined to trust institutions when they are controlled by leaders they agree with, but withhold trust when leaders don't make decisions in line with their own political views or policy preferences.”
“In a democratic society, Americans would ideally retain trust in their government institutions regardless of which party is in control, provided those leaders put the nation's interests first and follow the Constitution, laws, procedures and norms that govern the operation of those institutions,” reported the survey firm. “The ideal may not be realistic, but the country -- including its political leaders and the people they represent -- was closer to it in the past than it is now, given the higher trust in government that existed then.”
To read the survey, click here.