Few Americans have a lot of confidence in any of the branches of the government. Just 4 percent say they have a great deal of confidence in Congress, while 48 percent say they have only some and 46 percent have hardly any.
The other branches of government fare a little better, but still don’t inspire much confidence. Fifteen percent say they have a lot of confidence in the executive branch, 50 percent have some and 33 percent have hardly any. And 24 percent have a great deal of confidence in the Supreme Court, 58 percent have some confidence and 17 percent have hardly any.
On the other hand, 56 percent of Americans say they have a great deal of confidence in the military.
There are some partisan differences in Americans’ confidence in their government institutions. With a Democrat occupying the White House, Democrats are more likely than Republicans to express a great deal of confidence in the executive branch, 24 percent to 6 percent. And about 7 in 10 Republicans, but just under half of Democrats, have a great deal of confidence in the military.
Blogmeister bait because I see two of my perennial hobby horse themes here: #NRx, and Living in the Differentials.
#NRx, just because the military is the only institution listed here whose approval rating is above water.
Living in the Differentials, these things really leap out:
* The delta between the approval rating of the military itself and the approval rating of the institutions whose members control and fund the military.
* The delta between the low approval rating of the executive branch as an institution (15%) and the mediocre but halfway respectable current approval rating of the current occupant and chief executive of the executive branch (mid-40s). Baraq Obama has admitted that he experiences a chronic net wind to his back in his approval rating precisely because of race. But I don’t think that explains how about 30% of people approve of the President but not of the Presidency. The race thing is probably good for 5-10 points of it, pure blue team partisanship is probably another 5-10, and I think the rest is simply because of the ubiquitous celebrity of whoever is the incumbent President, as long as the economy isn’t in a total disaster and clusterfuck.
* The delta between the very low approval rating for Regress (4%) and the very high odds that its individual members have to get re-elected, and for the fact that within their districts or states, individual members of Congress or the Senate have approval ratings far higher than 4%. This has long been baffling to far many more people than your ever-lovin’ blogmeister. And I think none other than Cass Sunstein a short while ago provided the answer: Because political parties are becoming more and more congruent with socio-racial tribalism.
* What is a bit surprising to me is that only 24% of Democrats approve of the Presidency, but you know the current occupant of the Presidency has around a 70-80% approval rating from the same group. I think this delta and the overall delta (see above) can be explained by the same things: Race, blue team partisanship, President as celebrity, non-clusterfuck economy, but the difference is that they’re wider spreads within the Democrat-only universe. That “just under half” of Democrats approving of the military is a bit curious but very easy to explain: It’s because its current Commander-in-Chief is a Democrat.