We received an interesting email about some Gallup poll results about perceptions of different levels of government. The link is only accessible if you are a Gallup member, but here’s the gist of the information:
When asked about the overall performance of seven different government officials and employees, Gallup Panel members reserve their worst ratings for the U.S. Congress.
Using a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being “poor” and 5 being “excellent,” 53% of panelists say elected members of the U.S. Congress are poor. That’s a larger percentage than the 46% of Panel members who rate President Barack Obama and his administration as poor.
One-quarter of panelists rate their state government elected officials as performing poorly, while a smaller percentage (14%) rate their local elected officials as poor. About one in six respondents rate the performance of the U.S. Supreme Court and departments and agencies of the federal government (other than the military) as poor. Only 2% of Panel members rate the military poorly.
Similar percentages of Republicans, Democrats, and those designated as having “other” political affiliations rate as poor the performance of their local government elected officials, the U.S. military, and the U.S. Supreme Court. Democrats and those affiliated outside the two major parties are more likely than Republicans to rate as poor the performance of their elected state officials and elected members of the U.S. Congress. Republicans and those affiliated outside the two main parties are more likely than Democrats to rate the performance of departments and agencies of the federal government poorly.
We’d suspect that these results have a lot to do with the fact that most people know nothing about their local elected officials and therefore don’t have a strong opinion either way.