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Faith in the Federal Government No Longer Restored

After President Obama won his election in 2008 Gallup detected a noticeable increase in the number of Americans who viewed the federal government positively. But after two and a half years, Americans’ opinions about the federal government have again sunk even lower than the incredible low achieved at the end of the George W Bush’s tenure. From Gallup:

Ratings of the Federal Government, 2003-2010 Trend

With high unemployment, millions of mortgages still underwater, the level of uninsured up despite the passage of a health care law, yet Wall Street flush with cash as a result of a string of bailouts, it is hard to convince regular people the federal government is working for them.

The increasingly negative impression of the federal government should be concerning for the Obama campaign on multiple levels. First, as the head of the federal government, fairly or unfairly, people will blame the President for it not working. Second, the belief that the government is incapable of working only helps re-enforce the Republican party’s small government narrative. And finally, Obama’s 2008 campaign was about changing the way Washington worked, people either don’t think he has changed it or don’t think his changes have been for the better.

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at