More Americans feel disillusioned and dissatisfied with both major political parties than they have in decades, according to a new study of the nation’s politics.
The latest data from Pew Research Center shows no single focal point for peoples’ dissatisfaction, along with widespread criticism of all three branches of government, both political parties, political leaders, and political candidates.
Currently, just 16 percent of the public say they trust the federal government, marking the lowest level of trust in government in nearly 70 years.
Only four percent of U.S. adults say the political system is working extremely or very well. Just 23 percent believe it is working somewhat well and 63 percent have either not too much or no confidence at all in the future of America’s political system.
This most recent report on the contentiousness over U.S. politics comes as United Auto Workers is on strike; the price of oil is heading toward $100 per barrel, which will drive up the price of gas and other goods; a former president is battling four sets of criminal indictments; the U.S. House of Representatives is launching an impeachment inquiry into the current president; and congressional rancor over spending bills is threatening another government shutdown.
As stated in the report, “In an era defined by partisan polarization, the parties share little common ground politically. But they do share a deep unhappiness with the current state of politics.”
Voters were also nearly unanimous, with 86 percent agreeing with the statement: “Republicans and Democrats are more focused on fighting each other than on solving problems.”
Among the electorate, U.S. citizens are disillusioned with both political parties. Nearly three-in-ten (28 percent) hold unfavorable views of both Democrats and Republicans, the highest number in 30 years of polling. Similarly, 25 percent say they are not well-represented by either party.
Respondents were also given the opportunity to use their own words to describe their feelings about the political system and elected officials. Just two percent used positive words, while 70 percent used negative or critical words.
The words used most frequently to describe U.S. politics and elected officials were divisive, corrupt, chaos, messy, bad.