Voters Prefer Federalism


Voters overwhelmingly prefer their state and local governments to the one in Washington, according to a new Pew report.

The new poll shows that only a third of Americans hold a favorable view of the federal government. Over half of those polled reported feeling good about their state and local governments, indicating that Americans increasingly prefer that government control be held closer to home.

The federal government’s favorability rating fell to an all time low with only 33 percent of people saying they have a positive attitude about it—the lowest rating since 1997, when former President Bill Clinton was under fire for his affair with intern Monica Lewinsky.

The favorability rating of state and local governments held steady with a majority of adults, 52 percent saying they backed the former and 61 percent supporting the latter. Nearly 55 percent of those polled said the federal government was mostly corrupt, compared to 37 percent at the state level.

The favorability rating of the federal government is lower today than at the start of the financial crisis, falling about 10 points since Obama took office.