America’s most popular government agency: The Postal Service

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays the American public from holding the U.S. Postal Service in a favorable light.
A new survey by the Pew Research Center finds that at a time when only a tiny fraction of people surveyed believe the federal government does the right thing most of the time, 90 percent of respondents have a favorable opinion of the Postal Service, a higher rating than any other agency.
{mosads}Just 34 percent said they are satisfied with the direction of the country today, but the vast majority of respondents have broadly favorable opinions of the agencies that make up government.
Of the 16 agencies Pew researchers asked about, Americans hold favorable opinions of 14. Only one agency — Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) — has higher unfavorable ratings than favorable. An equal number, 48 percent, see the Department of Education favorably and unfavorably.
Eighty-six percent have a favorable opinion of the National Park Service, 81 percent see NASA favorably, and 80 percent said the same of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Even the agency that takes the largest chunk out of Americans’ paychecks, the Internal Revenue Service, is seen more favorably (55 percent) than unfavorably (40 percent).
Most agencies are seen through nonpartisan lenses, with equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans expressing positive or negative views. Sixty-nine percent of Democrats and 66 percent of Republicans, for example, see the Central Intelligence Agency in a favorable light. Virtually identical numbers also see NASA and CDC favorably.
But where partisan gaps exist, the agencies involved have been at the center of some of President Trump’s most contentious policy or political agendas.
ICE, an agency that plays a key role in enforcing Trump’s immigration agenda, is seen favorably by 70 percent of Republican voters, but just 19 percent of Democratic voters. Six in ten Republicans see the Justice Department favorably, compared with just 49 percent of Democrats — a partisan divide that has reversed itself since former President Obama left office in January 2017, when more Democrats than Republicans saw the Justice Department in a positive light.
Americans’ attitudes toward government agencies have been largely static in recent years, with the exception of their views toward the FBI.
A year-and-a-half ago, the last time Pew asked about Americans’ views of the FBI, the agency was coming under frequent attacks from Trump over former special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of the Trump campaign’s relationship with Russia. Then, just 49 percent of Republicans viewed the FBI positively; today, that figure has rebounded to 66 percent of Republicans — though more Democrats, 77 percent, see the bureau in a positive light.
The Pew Research Center’s poll, conducted Sept. 5-16, surveyed 2,004 U.S. adults. It carried a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points.
Tags Donald Trump Government agencies Pew poll Robert Mueller Survey U.S. Postal Service U.S. Postal Service

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