Over the past year – one in which the country faced gridlock over the national debt and a near government shutdown – American opinion reflects the nation’s volatility, a new poll released today by The Associated Press and the National Constitution Center indicates.
Among key findings is a notable decrease in the number of Americans who oppose giving the president more power to improve the economy – down to 61% from 73% in last year’s poll, a change that takes on new significance in light of President Obama’s recent jobs speech.
In other findings:
- 82% of Americans believe the federal government should not have the power to require all Americans to buy health insurance.
- Faith in Congress also has reached a new low, with 57% of Americans having little or no confidence in the nation’s legislative branch (up from 49% in 2010).
- Of the 19 different institution in this year’s poll — including the Supreme Court, local and state governments, the media, publc schools and organized religion — the U.S. Congress ranked as the least trusted.
- The U.S. military earned the deepest respect, holding the confidence of 54% of Americans.
The new poll, conducted in August, is the fourth in an annual series that tracks public opinion on constitutional issues. For a copy of the complete survey, click here.