Poll: Faith in federal government hits new low

posted at 7:21 pm on April 23, 2013 by Mary Katharine Ham

Turns out, Democrats don’t think the federal government is worth a damn under George W. Bush or President Obama, but they still want it getting ever bigger and imposing its shoddy solutions on every conceivable problem from now until the end of time. Super.

The percentage of Democrats expressing a favorable opinion of the federal government has declined 10 points in the past year, from 51% to 41%. For the first time since Barack Obama became president, more Democrats say they have an unfavorable view of the federal government in Washington than a favorable view (51% unfavorable vs. 41% favorable). Favorable opinions of the federal government among Republicans, already quite low in 2012 (20% favorable), have fallen even further, to 13% currently.

Pew notes that partisanship, of course, plays a role in the favorability ratings of the federal government, with Republicans rating it higher during the Bush years than Democrats, and vise versa during the Obama years. So, the president most marked by his advocacy of a federal government that can and should do pretty much everything is sitting atop said federal government…

However, there has been a steep decline in the share of Democrats expressing a favorable opinion of the federal government since Obama took office, from 61% in July 2009 to 41% currently.

According to Pew’s graph, that puts Democrats’ estimation of the federal government under Obama at about the same level it was during the last bit of Bush’s second term. Ouch. Their dissatisfaction no doubt has several factors— the critique from the Left that Obama’s not using his power to do enough, their general annoyance with Congressional Republicans, on whom the president is happy to blame, well, everything, and their anger at the fact that Obama seems so frequently foiled by them. This is where you see the frequent declaration that democracy just doesn’t “work” these days because it doesn’t allow the president of their choosing to do whatever he wants whenever he wants to. No one ever seems to stop to consider why the president of their choosing is so very bad at making things happen in Congress.

But hasn’t Obama’s go-to defense—nothing can possibly get done with my opponents in charge of one half of one House of Congress— always had the potential downside of an increase in nihilism about the federal government? As Democrats might see it, if the most inspirational orator in modern politics, the most intellectual man to hold the office in decades, a man of Ivy league insight and Hyde Park breeding cannot make the favored vehicle of Democratic policy work, what’s the point?

On the other hand, the marks for state and local governments remain high, with divided state governments getting the highest marks, across the board. (Again, how is it Obama has muffed a divided government that leans Democrat so thoroughly?)

Notably, politically divided state governments get positive ratings from members of both parties. In the 13 states with divided governments – those in which the governor and a majority of state legislators are from different parties – majorities of both Republicans and Democrats express favorable opinions of their state governments.

Dan Mitchell says “Federalism For the Win!”

These numbers should be very good news for anyone who wants to push a “federalism” agenda. And Gallup also has found considerable – and growing – hostility to the federal government.

In other words, the American people are on our side. Or, to be more precise, they broadly realize that Washington has too much power and money.

Our job is to translate that sentiment into public policy.

It does sound like there’s an opening, here, for reaching Independent and Democrat voters who have heretofore casually believed that the federal government is the best and perhaps only vehicle for policy problem solving— an idea national Democrats are happy to perpetuate despite all evidence to the contrary. Advocating against a bloated federal government has never meant one must be anti-government, per se. It’s rather rational and evidence-based to argue that state and local governments might understand local problems more thoroughly, dispense money more efficiently, and be more accountable for funny business, since each representative would be more accessible and responsive to fewer constituents, and the press would be able to focus on a smaller amount of potential funny business. But our candidates have not lately shown a talent for making that connection and “translating that sentiment into public policy.”


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Why is the approval so high?

RJL on April 23, 2013 at 7:29 PM

F*ck the federal government. The most recent obaka internet sales tax is proof that they don’t give a f*** about middle or low income tax payers….

ladyingray on April 23, 2013 at 7:30 PM

Damn the American people full speed ahead!

jukin3 on April 23, 2013 at 7:32 PM

Surely 12 million brand spankin’ new criminals citizens can influence those numbers towards more love for the feds, given the opportunity. Free stuff is always a winner.

a capella on April 23, 2013 at 7:32 PM

But most of the GOP is telling us not to worry, the federal government can secure the border.

Mark1971 on April 23, 2013 at 7:32 PM

However, there has been a steep decline in the share of Democrats expressing a favorable opinion of the federal government since Obama took office, from 61% in July 2009 to 41% currentlyHowever, there has been a steep decline in the share of Democrats expressing a favorable opinion of the federal government since Obama took office, from 61% in July 2009 to 41% currently

…so 41% are dumber thanshit ?

KOOLAID2 on April 23, 2013 at 7:33 PM

Poll: Faith in federal government hits new low

Now that’s just crazy talk…!

Seven Percent Solution on April 23, 2013 at 7:34 PM

Turns out, Democrats don’t think the federal government is worth a damn under George W. Bush or President Obama, but they still want it getting ever bigger and imposing its shoddy solutions on every conceivable problem from now until the end of time. Super.

Proving once again that most of them are idiots.

Schadenfreude on April 23, 2013 at 7:35 PM

It is soooooooooooooo loooooooooooooow,

that they are playing hand-ball,up against
a street curb!!

canopfor on April 23, 2013 at 7:36 PM

Poll: Faith in federal government hits new low

Now that’s just crazy talk…!

Seven Percent Solution on April 23, 2013 at 7:34 PM

Seven Percent Solution:True Dat,time ,er loot marchs on:)

canopfor on April 23, 2013 at 7:37 PM

In sum: “Gimme more!”

Liam on April 23, 2013 at 7:38 PM

It is soooooooooooooo loooooooooooooow,

They are the last to know it’s raining.

derft on April 23, 2013 at 7:41 PM

Once immigration reform becomes law you will have one party rule. The Republican Party will soon be dead in Washington. Most of the new citizens will vote for benefits.

alanstern on April 23, 2013 at 7:42 PM

btw, what exactly is this stuff about employers requiring employees to give their Facebook passwords to employers? And why are the Rs so for this?

r keller on April 23, 2013 at 7:44 PM

And the hills are alive with demands for more cowbell!

Lily on April 23, 2013 at 7:44 PM

61% in July 2009 to 41% currently.

I’d bi-curious to see the velocipede’s change’s velocipede on that price-point.

Axe on April 23, 2013 at 7:50 PM

Any truth to the rumor that the 13% respondents checked the reply:

“Who?, me worry?”

viking01 on April 23, 2013 at 7:52 PM

*not price point. I cement “phylum.”

Axe on April 23, 2013 at 7:53 PM

But let’s elect more Democrats

The Notorious G.O.P on April 23, 2013 at 7:53 PM

the critique from the Left that Obama’s not using his power to do enough,

ROFLMAO. “Don’t throw me in that briar patch!”

The left is transparent in their depravity and lies almost as much as they are in their drive for a dictator – and an inept, incompetent, mind-numbingly stupid one, at that.

Western leftism is nothing but sado-masochistic nihilism.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on April 23, 2013 at 7:57 PM

always had the potential downside of an increase in nihilism about the federal government?

Heh. I hadn’t even gotten down to this part. The left’s nihilism, though, is not about the feral government but about Western civilization and humanity, in general. The left wants to return the Earth to the slime of billions of years ago. Professional courtesy.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on April 23, 2013 at 7:59 PM

they broadly realize that Washington has too much power and money.

WTF!?

You mean people are starting to wake up?

GarandFan on April 23, 2013 at 8:00 PM

This is where you see the frequent declaration that democracy just doesn’t “work” these days because it doesn’t allow the president of their choosing to do whatever he wants whenever he wants to. No one ever seems to stop to consider why the president of their choosing is so very bad at making things happen in Congress.

MKH, we don’t live in a democracy. We live in a constitutional republic (what’s left of it), by definition.

This is why the Leftist statist plans are (somewhat) foiled: we do not live in a “majority rule” country (AKA democracy).

visions on April 23, 2013 at 8:00 PM

MKH, we don’t live in a democracy. We live in a constitutional republic (what’s left of it), by definition.

This is why the Leftist statist plans are (somewhat) foiled: we do not live in a “majority rule” country (AKA democracy).

visions on April 23, 2013 at 8:00 PM

You should CC that comment to Benedict Roberts. He seems to think voting determines the Supreme Law of the land.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on April 23, 2013 at 8:02 PM

I am overwhelmed by the success of the Public School System.
I didn’t think you could create this many idiots in such a short time.
Praise the NEA!
/s
III

dirtengineer on April 23, 2013 at 8:02 PM

problem is elites don’t give a crap how much we hate them. In fact IMO the push for gun control occurred at the same time these numbers started tanking. We need to send the leaders home. Like the crying speaker, cantor, ryan, pelosi,Reid, and Obama

unseen on April 23, 2013 at 8:07 PM

This is why the Leftist statist plans are (somewhat) foiled: we do not live in a “majority rule” country (AKA democracy).

visions on April 23, 2013 at 8:00 PM

bullcrap. Leftist statist plans are foiled because the majority is conservative. Liberals and the elites make up a small less then 30% of the population. If we lived in a democracy none of the leftist’s crap would ever get passed. In fact most leftists understand this and its why they want a one party rule like China.

unseen on April 23, 2013 at 8:10 PM

visions on April 23, 2013 at 8:00 PM

You should CC that comment to Benedict Roberts. He seems to think voting his mirror determines the Supreme Law of the land.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on April 23, 2013 at 8:02 PM

FIFY

viking01 on April 23, 2013 at 8:22 PM