A new Gallup poll asking Americans how much they trust institutions in American society has found that only three institutions — the military, small businesses, and the police — have the confidence of a majority of Americans.
Americans' confidence in Congress is down to 10%, the lowest level ever recorded not only for Congress, but for any institution. Not only does Congress have a tiny confidence rating, but in fact a majority of Americans (52%) say they have little or no confidence in Congress. About half (46%) of Americans, though, say they approve of the job the representative from their own congressional district is doing.
The same poll found that Americans have an equally abysmal level of confidence in newspaper and television news alike, at 23%.
The biggest year-to-date changes came for banks and the medical system. Banks gained 5% while the medical system’s confidence level fell by 6%.
Although the confidence numbers are different than approval ratings, the two are deeply linked. For instance, 78% disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job. Of those who disapprove of the job Congress is doing, gridlock is the primary reason.
Nearly four in five Americans in June, 78%, disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job, marking the 45th consecutive month that more than two-thirds of Americans have given Congress the thumbs down. Americans' high level of disapproval is less about what Congress is doing than about what it isn't doing: putting aside partisan bickering and getting things done.