Monday, October 11, 2010
Over 7 of 10 Americans' Image of "Federal Government" is Negative
PRINCETON, NJ -- More than 7 in 10 Americans use a word or phrase that is clearly negative when providing a top-of-mind reaction to the federal government.
A Sept. 20-21 USA Today/Gallup poll asked respondents what they would say "if someone asked you to describe the federal government in one word or phrase." The accompanying chart shows the results in graphic form, with the words or phrases displayed according to how frequently they are mentioned.
Overall, 72% of responses about the federal government are negative, touching on its inefficiency, size, corruption, and general incompetence, with the most common specific descriptions being "too big," "confused," and "corrupt."
Ten percent of responses are clearly positive, using words such as "good," while the remaining 18% are neutral or mixed.
The generally negative top-of-mind images of the federal government are consistent with the poor ratings the government receives in Gallup's annual update on the images of business and industry sectors. In the most recent update, from August, 58% rated the federal government negatively and 26% positively.
Gallup and USA Today will explore Americans' views of the role of the federal government further in a summit to be held at Gallup world headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 13, 2010. The event will offer polling and political experts' takes on what's behind the negative image of the federal government, and analysis of what the American people want -- and don't want -- their government to do for them.
Additionally, the complete list of verbatim responses to the question, along with basic demographic information on respondents, Click Here