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).