American Trust in Politicians Is at a 10-Year High

October 4, 2018, 2:59 PM UTC

Americans trust politicians more than they have in 10 years.

A Gallup poll published Thursday found that 55% of Americans have a “great deal” or “fair amount” of confidence in politicians. This is the first time the combined total has exceeded 50% since 2008, when confidence reached 66%. The 10-year high also represents a 7% increase from a year ago and 13 points above the record low of 42% seen in September 2016, ahead of the presidential election.

Confidence in politicians appears to have grown among both Republicans and Democrats, up to 53% for the former and 58% for the latter. But while Democrats are more trusting of politicians overall, the growth is less marked among them: 55% of Democrats expressed confidence in politicians last year, compared to 43% of Republicans.

Nevertheless, the findings should be taken lightly as the poll was conducted prior to the publication of sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. In a poll conducted after the similar hearings surrounding allegations of sexual misconduct by Clarence Thomas in 1991, confidence in Congress dropped significantly, from 30% to 18%.