Americans’ Dissatisfaction With Government Hits Near-Record

The Capitol is seen early morning in Washington on Nov. 30, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(CN) – A near-record number of Americans cite their own government as the biggest problem in the nation, as the cacophony of House Democrats busy at an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine and the daily fallout plays out in headlines.

The 34% of Americans polled who cite government, poor leadership or politicians as major problems for the nation marks an 11% increase since last month according to the latest Gallup poll. And the figure is just a point shy of the all-time high recorded by Gallup, which occurred after the government shutdown ended this February.

Nearing his third year in office, Trump has seen his own approval rating drop to as low as 37% according to a Gallup poll from last week. But Monday’s poll indicates American satisfaction has dropped to 28%, mainly due to Republicans being less satisfied with the president’s job performance.

Satisfaction has soured and returned to levels seen during and shortly after the longest federal government shutdown in U.S. history last winter. Broken down, 41% of Democrats, 36% Republicans and 27% of independents expressed dissatisfaction, with the figures for Republicans and Democrats leaping 13 points since last month, according to Gallup.

Satisfaction on the direction the nation is heading varies dramatically, with 53% of Republicans satisfied compared with 26% for independents and just 11% for Democrats.  Meanwhile, Democrats’ approval of Congress has climbed from 19% to 34%.

Dissatisfaction with the government (34%) beat out immigration (13%), race relations (6%) and health care/health insurance (5%) among those polled by Gallup. Just last month government dissatisfaction was at 23%, but during Gallup’s polling period from Oct. 1-13 respondents were inundated with daily developments in the impeachment investigation.

Monday’s poll numbers continue a trend from 2017 that dovetails with the polarized political climate: Dissatisfaction among Americans has not dipped below 22% this year, according to Gallup.

Former President Barack Obama faced similar numbers back in October 2013, when 33% of Americans cited government dissatisfaction as his administration grappled with congressional Republicans over defunding his landmark health care legislation now commonly referred to as Obamacare.

President Richard Nixon fared better than both Trump and Obama in the 1970s as just 26% of Americans named government as a chief concern for the nation, Gallup said.


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