Dylan Scott is a GOVERNING staff writer.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Public trust in state and local government has reached a more than 10-year high, according to a Gallup poll released Wednesday.
Almost three-quarters of Americans said they have great or a fair amount of trust in their local government this year (up from 68 percent in 2011) and 65 percent said the same about their state government (up from 57 percent in 2011). Trust in local government hasn't been this high since 1999, when the figure was 80 percent, and confidence in state government is among the strongest seen since Gallup started the poll in 1997.
Faith in state government in particular is on the rebound since the economic crisis. Trust dropped to 51 percent in 2009, but has been on a steady rise since. Local government has always enjoyed more public confidence, never dropping below 68 percent.
There were some regional divides in how much residents trusted their state government, according to Gallup: Westerners trusted theirs the least (57 percent), and Southerners trusted theirs the most (71 percent). Variations in the figures for local government were less substantial.
And though they are nationally regarded as distrustful of government, Republicans were actually more likely to say they had trust and confidence in their state government: 71 percent said so, compared to 65 percent of independents and 61 percent of Democrats. Back in 2008, Democrats had more faith in their state government: the poll's authors speculated that the election of more Republican governors could have been responsible for the shift.
Again, there was less difference between the parties on local government.
The poll was based on a survey of 1,017 randomly selected adults, ages 18 and older.