Growing Gap in Favorable Views of Federal, State Governments

Republicans Like State Government, Especially in GOP-Led States

Pew Research Center


Just a third of Americans have a favorable opinion of the federal government, the lowest positive rating in 15 years. Yet opinions about state and local governments remain favorable, on balance. As a result, the gap between favorable ratings of the federal government and state and local governments is wider than ever.

Ten years ago, roughly two-thirds of Americans offered favorable assessments of all three levels of government: federal, state and local. But in the latest survey by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, conducted April 4-15, 2012 among 1,514 adults nationwide, the favorable rating for the federal government has fallen to just 33%; nearly twice as many (62%) have an unfavorable view.

By contrast, ratings of state governments remain in positive territory, with 52% offering a favorable and 42% an unfavorable opinion of their state government. And local governments are viewed even more positively. By roughly two-to-one (61% to 31%) most Americans offer a favorable assessment of their local government.

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