Fifty-nine percent (59%) of voters do not think American political leaders respect American voters. A ScottRasmussen.com national survey found that just 34% believe they do and 7% are not sure.
That result is consistent with data released earlier shows that just 27% believe the federal government primarily serves the interest of the American people. More than twice as many–60%–believe it primarily looks out for its own interests.
Other data released last week showed that having leaders who respect voters is considered one of the top needs for a healthy political system. It is one of only four attributes deemed Very Important by more than 70% of voters. Most voters believe it is at least somewhat accurate to say that the other three can be found in American politics today. That includes freedom of speech (68% believe we have it), checks and balances between branches of government (58%) and freedom of religion (73%).
Five other attributes were considered Very Important by a majority of voters. From this list, most voters believe only one is present in American today. Sixty-three percent (63%) consider freedom of the press Very Important and 74% believe we have it in America today.
Opinions are evenly divided on two other items considered Very Important by a majority of voters. Forty-six percent (46%) believe we have clear limits on what the government can do while 45% do not. Forty-three percent (43%) think there are limits on taxation while 46% disagree.
Finally, most voters think two of these items are lacking in today’s political environment. By a 61% to 32% margin, voters do not believe we have political leaders who are willing to compromise. By a 51% to 42% margin, voters do not think most Americans have respect for people with fundamentally different views.
On attributes considered less important, 47% believe it is at least somewhat accurate to say we have a strong central government; 44% believe we have an energetic and active government, 59% think we have a common national language, 40% say we have voters who respect political leaders, and 44% believe we have limited government.
The one item considered least important among the attributes of a healthy political system was having strong political parties. Just 32% considered that to be Very Important. But a majority–56%–believe it is at least somewhat accurate to say America has strong political parties today.
Seventy-seven percent (77%) of voters believe America’s political system is badly broken. But most (57%) believe America’s best days are still to come.
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The national survey of 1,002 Registered Voters was conducted March 28-29, 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).