WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans’ lack of confidence in government may be related, in part, to a waning trust in the elected decision-makers who are ultimately responsible for how government functions, along with the voters who put them in office.
Less than half of U.S. adults (44%) say they have a great deal or fair amount of confidence in people who hold or are running for public office, rivaling the record low of 42% from 2016. Meanwhile, a small majority (55%) express a similar level of confidence in the judgments of the American people under the democratic system, the lowest Gallup has measured to date but not meaningfully different from 56% readings in 2016 and 2020.
Gallup’s trends on these measures, dating back to 1972 (for politicians) and 1974 (for the American people), reflect a continuing decline in confidence in politicians and voters over the ensuing decades. Americans have been consistently more likely to express trust in voters than in people who hold or are running for public office, but both trends have generally ebbed in the 2000s and again in the 2010s.