US National Government Confidence Lowest Among G-7 Countries
TND - July 7, 2023 6:24 am
FILE - President Joe Biden participates in a meeting with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, right, March 13, 2023, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
(TND) — National confidence in the U.S. was highest among G-7 nations when Gallup started tracking it in 2006.
Now, it’s the lowest.
Fewer than a third of Americans say they have confidence in our national government. That’s down from 56% expressing confidence in 2006.
National confidence in the U.K. has seen a nearly identical fall, while confidence in governments of other G-7 nations has increased.
Japan, for example, ranked last for confidence among G-7 countries between 2007 and 2012 but has since more than doubled to 43% in the latest reading.
The U.S. has sunk to the bottom of the confidence rankings for these advanced democracies.
“I’m not sure I’d say that it suggests that something’s sort of significantly broken. I think the U.S. trend line is an interesting one,” said Benedict Vigers, author of the report and a consulting associate at Gallup.
He said there’s so much year-to-year fluctuation to suggest Americans’ faith can dimmish and rebound rather quickly based on what’s happening in the moment, both within politics and the world at large.
Faith in government really does relate to more broadly how people are feeling in their lives,” he said.
Confidence cratered last year, under President Joe Biden’s watch.
But similar low points were recorded under the Obama and Trump administrations.
High points were seen in 2009, 2017 and 2020.
Low points were seen in 2013, 2016, 2018 and 2022.
Confidence shot up 12 points between 2008 and 2009.
And in 2020, 46% of Americans expressed confidence in the government. That was the third-highest reading over the tracking period.
Vigers said 2009 and 2020 might reflect “somewhat of a rally effect” during times of crisis. The Great Recession was winding down in 2009, and the COVID-19 pandemic was taking root in the U.S. in 2020.
Vigers said it will be interesting to see how next year’s election impacts national confidence.
Two of the high points came in 2009 and 2017, following the elections of new presidents.
But that loving feeling might not last long. After a nine-point increase between 2016 and 2017, former President Donald Trump’s first year in office, confidence dropped to a near-low point of 31% in 2018.
As for the most recent trend, confidence has been on the decline from 46% in 2020, to 40% in 2021, to 31% last year.
How does confidence rise again?
Vigers mentioned easing inflation or higher approval for Biden as potential drivers.
“You could hypothesize that that might see a related rise in government confidence,” he said. “But I don’t think I’d want to predict anything in stone for how it might go.”