Biden blues? Just 31% of American adults 'have confidence' in the US government

10:53 15.07.2023 •

A new Gallup poll released one day ahead of Independence Day (the 4th July) shows confidence in the U.S. government to be the lowest across all countries in the G7.

According to the poll, just 31% of American adults "have confidence" in the U.S. government, down from 56%, the highest in the G7, in 2006. A whopping 69% of Americans said they did not have confidence in the government.

The U.S. was followed closely by the U.K., with just 33% of British adults having confidence in its government.

A separate Gallup poll released last week found that just 39% of U.S. adults expressed "extreme pride" in the country, just one percent higher than 2022's record-low number.

According to Gallup, Americans' confidence in their government has declined sharply over the years, but saw a drop from 46% to 40% after President Biden took office in 2021, and again to 31% in 2022, on par with the lowest levels of confidence reached in 2013, 2016 and 2018.

When Gallup first measured national confidence in governments around the world nearly two decades ago, both President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair were well into their terms in office. The governments they led retained extensive confidence domestically – far more so than for almost all the rest of the G7 (Canada, France, Germany, Japan and Italy).

Fast forward to 2022, and the tables have turned. Roughly one in three adults in the U.K. (33%) and U.S. (31%) say they have confidence in their national governments: putting them at the bottom of the G7 countries, stresses Gallup.

As governments on both sides of the Atlantic have struggled, other administrations in G7 nations have solidified their positions among their electorates.

In Europe, confidence in Italy’s government has almost doubled since 2019 (from 22% to 41% in 2022).

Similarly, confidence in the French government has increased steadily since French President Emmanuel Macron came to power: rising from 37% in 2017 to 46% in 2022.

In Olaf Scholz’s first full year as chancellor of Germany, he has continued Angela Merkel’s trend of high German confidence (61%) in government – the highest confidence level in the G7.

The U.S. has seen a sharp decline in the public’s confidence in the national government over the past couple of years. In 2020, almost half (46%) of U.S. adults expressed faith in their government, likely boosted by the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But after President Joe Biden took office, confidence in government slipped to 40% in 2021 and again to 31% in 2022. This is on par with the lowest rates of confidence measured in the U.S. government since Gallup started tracking it globally in 2006 – with the other lows measured in 2013, 2016 and 2018 under former Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump.

Declining domestic confidence in the U.S. government has occurred alongside declining approval ratings on the world stage. Median global approval of U.S. leadership slipped to 41% in 2022, down from 45% in 2021 during Biden’s first year in office.


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