Poll: Media, federal government among least trusted institutions for voters


The media and federal government are among the least-trusted major institutions as weighed by voters, a new Hill-HarrisX poll finds.

Fifty-three percent of registered voters in the May 21-23 survey said they have little or no confidence in the media while 52 percent said the same of the federal government.

Just under half of respondents said they have some or “a great deal” of confidence in both institutions: 47 percent said they have confidence in the media and 48 percent did in the federal government.

The poll shows differences based on party affiliation, with 78 percent of Republican voters saying they have little or no confidence in the media while 66 percent of Democrats and 55 percent of independent voters said they have at least some confidence in the media. 

The underwater views of the media and federal government are in contrast to views of several other major institutions, including the country’s healthcare and criminal justice systems as well as state and local government, which drew positive marks from a majority of voters.

Sixty-eight percent of registered voters said they have a great deal or some confidence in the country’s healthcare system; 65 percent said the same of their local government and 60 percent said they have at least some confidence in their state’s government.

Fifty-six percent of voters said they have confidence in the criminal justice system while 52 percent said they have at least some confidence in organized labor.

“Rebuilding confidence in the major institutions of the country is an imperative for the proper functioning and wellbeing of American democracy,” Dritan Nesho, CEO and chief pollster at HarrisX, told Hill.TV.

“Today confidence in several major institutions remains low, with less than 2 in 10 voters exhibiting a great deal of it for the institutions we polled. The picture is particularly bleak for the media and federal government, where a majority of voters have little to no confidence after an antagonistic four years between the two parties, ” Nesho added.

The most recent Hill-HarrisX poll was conducted online among 1,899 registered voters. It has a margin of error of 2.25 percentage points.

Gabriela Schulte

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