A new national survey by ScottRasmussen.com shows Americans meaningfully interact much more often with their close friends, co-workers, neighbors, and local small business owners than they do with anyone who works at level of government.
Close friends come in at the top of the list. Fifty-nine percent (59%) of American adults meaningfully interact with those friends at least once during a typical week. Co-workers came in second with 56% and 51% say the same about their neighbors.
Next highest on the list are local small business owners and people affiliated with church or religious groups. Forty-four percent (44%) of Americans have at least one significant weekly interaction with each of those groups.
At the bottom of the list are government workers and political activists.
Just 20% of Americans have a weekly significant interaction with government workers. That 20% figure is the same for federal, state, and local government workers. That figure is stunningly low since more than 22 million Americans work for the government. Government workers account for 9% of the U.S. population. This suggests that private sector workers have far less engagement with government employees.
Last on the list are political activists. Just 13% of Americans saying they have any regular weekly interactions with them. This is not surprising given that public opinion of political activists is lower than for most other groups in society.
The general trends in the survey remain consistent across all major demographic groups. But older Americans tend to have even less interaction with government workers than younger Americans. Democrats tend to have more interaction with government workers than Republicans. (See crosstab results).
These responses help explain why so few Americans felt a major impact from the government shutdown.
Also on the subject of social interactions, a separate new ScottRasmussen.com survey shows that 20% of Americans feel lonely at least half the time. But 88% say they of all adults say they regularly socialize with at least one friend.
The mission of ScottRasmussen.com is to enhance the public dialogue through data-driven analysis that explores the underlying currents of public opinion (read About Us).
The national survey of 1,000 Registered Voters was conducted January 19-20, 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).