The United States was designed to have a complex mix of federal, state, and local governments. However, 24% of voters believe it be better to simply have one national government to establish uniform rules across the country. A ScottRasmussen.com national survey found that 51% reject that view and 25% are not sure.
Voters under 35 are evenly divided on the question. Thirty-seven percent (37%) think it would be a good idea to have a single governing body while 39% disagree. Older voters take the opposite view. Among senior citizens, just 14% believe it would be a good idea while 65% say no.
White and black voters strongly oppose the idea of a single national government. Hispanic voters are evenly divided with 38% favoring the idea and 38% opposed (see crosstab results).
The data confirms other surveys showing that voters have more trust in state and local governments than they do in the federal government. Still, even that trust in limited. Twenty-seven percent (27%) trust their state government to do the right thing most or all of the time. Thirty-three percent (33%) say the same about their local government. That’s roughly double the number who place such trust in the federal government.
It is also worth noting that voters have more trust in state and local governments than they do in large corporations.
A related survey found that 44% believe the power to walk away is more important than the right to vote. Scott Rasmussen’s latest book makes the case that those 44% are right. The ability to walk away is one reason people are more satisfied with state and local governments than with the federal government. Few people vote in local elections, but their decision to stay or leave places significant constraints on the actions of political leaders.
The power to walk away also played a key role in the women’s suffrage movement as various states competed for residents by offering more political rights to women. And, of course, the United States was founded by people who chose to walk away from an unresponsive king in England.
That’s consistent with data showing that 77% agree with the following statement: “For America to succeed, we need an all-hands-on-board approach that unleashes the creativity and resources of individual Americans, families, community groups, churches, entrepreneurs, small businesses, local governments, and more.” Only 3% disagree.
That quote and theme came from Scott Rasmussen’s book, The Sun Is Still Rising: Politics Has Failed But America Will Not.
We also provide daily updates on the president’s job approval and the generic congressional ballot. It’s all part of our mission to enhance the public dialogue through data-driven analysis that explores the underlying currents of public opinion (read About Us).
The national survey of 1,001 Registered Voters was conducted February 28-March 1, 2019 by ScottRasmussen.com and HarrisX, a polling company specializing in online surveys (see Methodology). It has a 3.1 percentage point Margin of Error with a 95% level of confidence.
Neither Scott Rasmussen nor ScottRasmussen.com has any relationship with Rasmussen Reports® (see About Us).