How trusted are state and local governments?

Let’s say you came down with a bad case of the flu. Would you tell all your friends and colleagues that you were healthy as could be—because you didn’t have pneumonia?

Probably not. But that’s exactly how the critical issue of trust in state and local governments is often couched when it’s compared to the situation in the federal government. Consider market researcher Power Almanac’s proclamation that, “Americans view local elected officials far more favorably than members of Congress. … So, keep doing what you’re doing, local government official. Americans trust you to do a very important job.”

While states and localities are unquestionably considered more trustworthy than are the feds, a look at the numbers shows they still confront a significant lack of confidence.