February 23, 2020

Trusting Government Personnel

Six-in-ten Republicans and GOP-leaning independents say they have a great deal or fair amount of confidence that officials appointed by a president to oversee government agencies will act in the best interest of the public, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in late 2018. A smaller share of Republicans (48%) express a great deal or fair amount of confidence that career government employees who are notpresidentially appointed will act in the public’s best interest.

Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, by contrast, are much more likely to say they have a great deal or fair amount of confidence in career employees at government agencies than in presidentially appointed officials (71% vs. 28%).

Overall, Americans are more likely to have confidence in career government workers than in presidential appointees, according to the survey, which asked U.S. adults a wide range of questions about their trust in institutions and other people. Around six-in-ten U.S. adults (61%) have a great deal or fair amount of confidence in career employees to act in the best interest of the public; 42% say the same about presidentially appointed officials.


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