Confidence in Institutions Poll

We look at this poll every year, more or less. This year's results are unexpected: American confidence in institutions is up, at a level not seen since Obama first took office.

More, this poll defies the trendline I've been worried about over previous years. The decline in faith in institutions has chiefly affected the non-coercive institutions: the consistently highly placed winners were the police, the military, and the criminal justice system. Congress, newspapers, churches -- all the non-coercive branches fared worse and worse. This year, that reversed to some degree.

There's a big partisan split in a couple of places, especially faith in the Presidency (swings near fifty points for both parties) and newspapers (way up among Democrats, down somewhat among Republicans). SCOTUS shows a zero shift among Democrats, but a big gain among Republicans -- no doubt the outcome of the Gorsuch fight.

But that doesn't hold everywhere. Many institutions show compatible shifts, including things like organized labor (Republicans up by two, Democrats by a little more), church (1/3), and public schools (9/5). At least some of the ways in which we deal with each other nonviolently are tracking up a bit, and that's kind of surprising given the political climate.

1 comment:

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Most of these institutions have not actually changed much over the last year, the exception being the presidency, and to a lesser extent, the SCOTUS. The rest is likely based largely on feeling, impression.

That Democrats went from 25 to 41 on newspapers, despite the high-profile things they are getting wrong, is revealing. It gives evidence that the newspapers do tell Democrats more of what they want to hear, and the doubling down to oppose Trump has been well-received by that group.