WP Poll: Public sees government badly off-kilter

Over seven in 10 Americans think the federal government is focused on the wrong things, a number that’s grown since the fall.

In October, 55 percent said the government’s priorities were misplaced, leading up to a wave election that changed control of Congress. Washington’s “out of touch” image has hardened since then, rising to 71 percent seeing a government that’s lost its way in a new Washington Post poll.

Only 19 percent believe the federal government is focused on the right priorities, down 20 percentage points since October. The drop has been especially steep among Democrats.


Blame is doled out in roughly equal portions among those who see misplaced priorities. About three in 10 point the finger at Obama and the Democrats, the Republicans in Congress or both sides equally. Partisans are just as likely to blame the other side for the current situation. But independents are most apt to volunteer that both sides are at fault.


Read the full poll results .

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Peyton M. Craighill is polling manager for the Washington Post. Peyton reports and conducts national and regional news polls for the Washington Post, with a focus on politics, elections and other social and economic issues.

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