American’s trust of government is near an all-time low just one year out from the 2016 general election, according to a new survey, even as most Americans see an important role for Washington in combatting terrorism and disaster response.
The national survey by the Pew Research Center showed that just 19% of Americans trust the federal government all or most of the time, a view that has boosted outsiders like businessman Donald Trump and neurosurgeon Ben Carson in the 2016 primary. (The all-time low was 15% of Americans trusting the government in October 2011, according to an average from Pew.)
However, 94% of Americans say the government plays an important role in keeping the country safe from terrorism, and 72% said it was doing a good job. And 75% say there is a major role for government in protecting the environment.
Unsurprisingly, Republicans were more likely than Democrats to say that the government should play a smaller role in areas including strengthening the economy, ensuring education access and helping people get out of poverty. The biggest divide is on whether government should ensure access to healthcare, with 83% of Democrats saying the government should play a major role, compared to 34% of Republicans.
Pew also found that elected officials get a poor rap, and are viewed as more selfish and less honest and intelligent than business leaders.
Read more from Pew here.