Police stand in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on June 30, 2014 in Washington, DC.
Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty

Gallup: Confidence in government hits record lows

Updated

Americans’ confidence in the three branches of government has reached new lows, including a six-year low for the presidency, according to a new Gallup poll

Gallup spoke with 1,027 adults between June 5-8th, with a margin of error +/- 4%, and asked them to rate their level of confidence in the three branches. Ratings for the Supreme Court, the presidency and the legislature are at or near their all-time worst, signaling the country’s growing distrust of government.

The U.S. population’s confidence level is lowest in Congress, which earned just 7% of Americans’ confidence, down three points from its 2013 rating, but the president’s approval rating saw the biggest drop, falling eight points from two years ago. 

While President Obama’s name was not mentioned in the questioning, Gallup notes that whoever the current president is still influences attitudes regarding the executive branch.

American’s confidence in the presidency during President Obama’s first term, 51%, was higher than both of his two predecessors, but it has also fallen faster: Just 29% of people now have confidence in the presidency. During George W. Bush’s sixth year in office, 33% of people had confidence in the presidency.  

Just 30% of Americans have a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the Supreme Court, down seven points from two years ago. The polling took place in early June, ahead of controversial rulings on contraceptive care, buffer zones around abortion clinics, and searching cell phones during arrests.

The Supreme Court’s approval rating has been low—below 40%—since 2007, the year after George W. Bush’s second nominated justice, Samuel Alito, joined the court. That year, according to Gallup, the Court’s approval rating dropped sharply to 34%.

Barack Obama, Congress, Polling and Supreme Court

Gallup: Confidence in government hits record lows

Updated