One Year Into Obama Presidency Trust in Government is Unchanged While Business Gains, According to Public Strategies Survey
21 January 2010
Posted in Press Releases
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 21, 2010 (AUSTIN, Texas) — One year into Barack Obama’s presidency, public trust in government is exactly where it was as he assumed office, while trust in business has increased over the past twelve months, according to the latest Public Strategies Public Trust Monitor. The results of the quarterly survey for Q1 2010 reveal that the public still trusts government (56%) more than business (43%) to do what is right. However, just 40% of Americans believe things in the federal government are headed in the right direction, while 55% say things in business are headed in the right direction.
In March of 2009, public trust in government reached a high of 63% and “right direction” reached 54%.
“President Obama, who was elected in a wave of public anger, created enormous optimism about the role of government in the early months of his presidency. Today, the public is less confident that government has the proper solutions to the country’s problems,” said Dan Bartlett, president and CEO of Public Strategies, Inc.
“Two underlying issues contributing to the decline in the public’s trust in government are growing concerns about the country’s economic policies and, more generally, a fundamental disagreement over the role of government.”
The latest Public Trust Monitor showed that 52% of Americans believe the government can’t be trusted to manage its finances responsibly. The public is also split over whether or not the government is doing too much (52%) or too little (48%) to solve our country’s problems. Another measure pointing to the public divide is the split between those who fear health care reform wont go far enough (48%) and those who believe it will go too far (52%).
Conversely, trust in business has climbed steadily, as has the opinion that business is headed in the right direction. 55% now say business is headed in the right direction – a 27 point increase in the past year. In addition, 91% of the public wants to see corporations involved in helping solve the problems our nation faces.
“There is encouraging news here for business, but given the volatile public environment, business still isn’t out of the woods yet,” said Mark McKinnon, vice chairman of Public Strategies, Inc.
While less likely to favor increased regulation of corporations than one year ago, the pubic is still twice as likely to say regulation of corporations should be increased (50%) rather than decreased (25%).
In addition, Americans continue to take a very dim view of the economy. The overwhelming majority of people (83%) view the national economy as weak, and 73% described the job market in their area the same way. Americans believe job loss (50%) is the most important economic problem facing the U.S., with the budget deficit a distant second (18%) and the cost of healthcare ranked third (11%).
The Public Trust Monitor, conducted on a quarterly basis by Public Strategies, Inc., provides an ongoing, quantitative measure of the voting public’s trust in government and business.
Survey Methodology: Public Strategies, Inc. conducted a nationwide online survey of 1,000 registered voters January 11–12. The survey’s margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
About Public Strategies, Inc.
Public Strategies, Inc. is a business advisory firm that serves a diverse clientele including some of the world’s largest and best-known corporations, nonprofit organizations, associations and professional firms. Public Strategies helps forward-thinking organizations assess public opinion and risk, and develops strategies for managing corporate reputation and uncertainty. Much of its practice involves managing high-stakes campaigns for corporate clients, anticipating and responding to crises. http://www.pstrategies.com
Public Strategies was purchased by WPP in August of 2006. WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY) is one of the world's leading communications services groups, providing national, multinational and global clients with advertising; media investment management; information, insight & consultancy; public relations & public affairs; branding & identity, healthcare and specialist communications.