Survey: How Americans view their government

In 10 of 13 areas included in the survey, the balance of opinion about government performance is more positive than negative.

In several areas, Democrats and Republicans give the federal government similar ratings: Large majorities of both Democrats and Republicans say it does a good job of responding to natural disasters (82% and 78%, respectively) and setting fair and safe standards for workplaces (79% and 77%, respectively).

Roughly half in each party say the federal government does well in maintaining roads, bridges and other infrastructure (52% of Democrats, 50% Republicans) and ensuring access to high-quality education (54% of Republicans, 52% of Democrats).

However, there are substantial partisan differences in views of government performance on a pair of issues that are likely to be important in the 2016 campaign. Republicans are half as likely as Democrats to say the government does a good job in strengthening the economy (34% vs. 68%). And the gap is as large in perceptions of government performance in ensuring access to health care (40% of Republicans vs. 74% of Democrats).