Call it scorn in the USA.
Americans’ confidence in the presidency as an institution has plummeted 15 percentage points over the past year as trust in the country’s power centers has sunk to a record low, according to a new poll released on Tuesday.
In an ominous sign for President Biden, confidence in the presidency dropped to 23% from 38% in 2021.
The Gallup survey also found that an average of 27% of US adults had “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in 14 major sectors: organized religion, the military, the Supreme Court, banks, public schools, newspapers, Congress, organized labor, big business, TV news, the presidency, the police, the medical system and the criminal justice system.
That’s down from 32% in 2021 and the previous low — 30% — that was recorded in 2014.
Support of Congress is just about down to blood relatives, as only 7% of Americans have confidence in America’s legislative body, a drop of five percentage points from 2021.
None of the 16 institutions — small businesses and large tech companies are recent additions to the list — tested in this year’s poll saw their confidence score improve and just one, organized labor, saw its score remain steady (28%).
Big media took a particular beating, with confidence in television news descending from 16% to 11% over the past year. Just 16% of Americans are confident in newspapers, down from 21% a year ago.
Only 14% of Americans approve of big business, down four points from 2021, while confidence in the criminal justice system tumbled to 14% from 20% in just the last year.
Even support for the police took a dip — with just 45% showing appreciation compared to 51% in 2021.
Only two institutions inspire confidence in a majority of Americans this year: small business (68%, down from 70% in 2021) and the military (64%, down five points from a year ago).
The overall institutional confidence average last cracked the 40% mark in 2004, when 43% of Americans said they have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of support for major organizations.
The 2022 confidence average is also down nine percentage points from 2020, when Americans rallied around some of the institutions most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including the medical system, schools and organized religion.
But confidence in the medical system dropped to 38% in 2022 from 44% last year.
Confidence in organized religion fell six points to 31% and support for public schools dropped four points to 28%.
Confidence in the Supreme Court dropped from 36% to 25%, as the nine justices made a series of controversial rulings — including the overturn of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion nationwide.
Support of big tech companies fell to 26% from 29% and confidence in banks tumbled to 27% from 33%.
“Notably, confidence in the major institutions of the federal government is at a low point, at a time when the president and Congress are struggling to address high inflation, record gas prices, increased crime and gun violence, continued illegal immigration, and significant foreign policy challenges from Russia and China,” Gallup said in an analysis.
“Confidence in the Supreme Court had already dropped even before it overturned Roe v. Wade, though that ruling was expected after a draft opinion was leaked in May.”
“The confidence crisis extends beyond political institutions at a time when a near record-low 13% of Americans are satisfied with the way things are going in the U.S. Confidence in institutions is unlikely to improve until the economy gets better — but it is unclear if confidence will ever get back to the levels Gallup measured in decades past, even with an improved economy.”
All partisan groups are generally less confident in the 16 institutions tested than they were a year ago, with average declines of four points among Republicans, five points among Democrats and six points among independents.
All three political groups are also much less confident in the presidency than they were a year ago, showing declines of at least 10 points.
There were some partisan differences in the survey. For example, Democrats and independents indicated a more than double-digit loss of confidence in the Supreme Court, with no meaningful change among Republicans.
Republicans lost more confidence in banks than the other party groups have and also experienced double-digit declines in confidence in the military and the police.
Independents are significantly less confident in organized religion than a year ago, while there has been a smaller drop among Republicans and no real change among Democrats.
Democrats are more confident than Republicans in most of the 16 institutions, with the exceptions of the police, the Supreme Court and organized religion.
Results for the Gallup poll are based on cellphone and landline telephone interviews conducted with 1,015 adults from June 1 to 20. It has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.
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