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Ryan Robertson

Anchor/Investigative Reporter

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U.S.

Pew Research study: Most Americans don’t trust Washington

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Ryan Robertson

Anchor/Investigative Reporter

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A new Pew Research study shows Americans do not trust the federal government. Public trust in Washington is at near historic lows.

Only about 20% of Americans think the federal government will do the right thing “just about always” (2%) or “most of the time” (19%).

The National Election Study started tracking public trust in government in 1958. Back then, about ¾s of Americans trusted the government.

Americans began losing trust in government during the Vietnam War. Public trust further declined amid the Watergate scandal and worsening economic conditions in the 1970s.

Things rebounded a bit in the mid-1980s, before falling again in the mid-1990s. During the late 1990s and early 2000s, public trust reached its highest mark (54%) in almost 30 years but dropped again shortly thereafter.

Public trust hit an all-time low of 17% twice: once under President Obama and once under President Trump.

Since 2007, the percentage of Americans saying they trust Washington to do what is right all or most of the time has not topped 30%.

Trust in government is higher among members of a political party that controls the presidency.

Asian, Hispanic and Black adults are all more trusting of the federal government than white adults.

AMERICANS HAVE TRUST ISSUES. SPECIFICALLY, MOST AMERICANS DON’T TRUST THEIR GOVERNMENT TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT MOST OF THE TIME.

ACCORDING TO A NEW PEW RESEARCH STUDY, PUBLIC TRUST IN GOVERNMENT IS AT NEAR HISTORIC LOWS. JUST 20 % OF AMERICANS THINK THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WILL DO THE RIGHT THING ALL OR MOST OF THE TIME.

THE NATIONAL ELECTION STUDY STARTED TRACKING PUBLIC TRUST IN GOVERNMENT IN 1958. BACK THEN, ABOUT ¾’S OF AMERICANS TRUSTED THE GOVERNMENT.

AMERICANS BEGAN LOSING TRUST IN GOVERNMENT DURING THE VIETNAM WAR. PUBLIC TRUST FURTHER DECLINED AMID THE WATERGATE SCANDAL AND WORSENING ECONOMIC CONDITIONS IN THE 1970’S.

PUBLIC TRUST HIT AN ALL-TIME LOW OF 17% TWICE. ONCE UNDER PRESIDENT OBAMA AND ONCE UNDER PRESIDENT TRUMP.

SINCE 2007, THE PERCENTAGE OF AMERICANS SAYING THEY TRUST WASHINGTON TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT ALL OR MOST OF THE TIME HASN’T TOPPED 30%.