Pew survey: Public trusts state, local governments over feds by wide margin

(Marvin Joseph/Washington Post) (Marvin Joseph/Washington Post)

Americans trust their state and local governments more than the federal government by a gaping margin, according to a Pew Research survey released Monday.

The survey showed that 28 percent of the public views the federal government favorably, down five points from a year ago and also the lowest percentage ever in a Pew survey on the topic.

The lowly rating for Washington compares to 63 percent of people holding a favorable opinion of their local governments and 57 percent expressing a favorable view of their state governments.

Even among Democrats, who tend to show more support for government, the numbers have dipped on the federal side. Fewer than half of Democrats– 41 percent– said they hold a favorable opinion of the federal government, representing a 10-point drop from the previous year.

This year’s survey marks the first time since Barack Obama became president that most Democrats have held an unfavorable view of the government, Pew said in a statement.

Only 13 percent of Republicans expressed favorable views of the federal government this year, as opposed to 20 percent last year.

The Pew survey found positive ratings across party lines for state and local governments.

Pew conducted its survey with 1,501 adults from March 13-17.

For more federal news, visit The Federal Eye, The Fed Page and Post Politics.

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E-mail federalworker@washpost.com with news tips and other suggestions.

Josh Hicks covers Maryland politics and government. He previously anchored the Post’s Federal Eye blog, focusing on federal accountability and workforce issues.

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Josh Hicks · April 15, 2013