Numbers, Facts and Trends Shaping Your World

Democrats’ View of Federal Government Turns Negative During Obama Administration

Public views of the federal government in Washington have fallen to another new low, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in March. While majorities of Americans see their state and local governments favorably, just 28% rate the federal government in Washington favorably. That is down five points from a year ago.

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). In July 2009, when Obama took office, 61% of Democrats expressed a favorable view of Washington. Favorable opinions of the federal government in the March survey among Republicans, already quite low in 2012 (20% favorable), have fallen even further, to 13% currently.

By contrast, nearly identical percentages of Democrats (56%), Republicans (57%) and independents (59%) have a favorable opinion of their state’s government. Similarly, local governments receive positive ratings from 67% of Democrats, 63% of Republicans and 60% of independents. Read more