Confidence in the Presidency Has Been Tanking for Years

Obama and George W. Bush are both part of a bleak trend.

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Stephanie Stamm
June 30, 2014, 12:24 p.m.
Dropping Confidence National Journal

Amer­ic­ans have no more faith in the pres­id­ency un­der Pres­id­ent Obama than they did un­der George W. Bush, a new Gal­lup Poll finds.

After just his first year in of­fice, the num­ber of Amer­ic­ans who said they felt either a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of con­fid­ence in the pres­id­ency began to drop un­der Obama, and it hasn’t turned around since. Con­fid­ence in the pres­id­ency did start off at a re­l­at­ively high 51 per­cent in Obama’s first year. But it didn’t take long for con­fid­ence to dive.

Al­though there was a sim­il­ar de­cline in pres­id­en­tial con­fid­ence un­der both Obama and Bush, it took Bush six full years to reach Obama’s cur­rent lows.

Bill Clin­ton had it far easi­er. Even in the midst of im­peach­ment, Clin­ton’s pres­id­ency was able to main­tain a high level of con­fid­ence. He left of­fice with a 42 per­cent con­fid­ence level — just 1 per­cent­age point off from where he star­ted.

The ex­ec­ut­ive wasn’t the only branch of gov­ern­ment to see its con­fid­ence level dip. Both Con­gress, which only 7 per­cent of Amer­ic­ans have a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of con­fid­ence in, and the U.S. Su­preme Court, with 30 per­cent, have now hit re­cord lows.


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