Only 12 Percent of Americans Have Confidence in Congress: Poll

American adults appear to be largely disillusioned with U.S. federal government institutions, with new polling showing just 12 percent have confidence in Congress.

Gallup released new polling on Wednesday, showing that just about a third (33 percent) of American adults expressed "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence for prominent U.S. institutions. The polling was conducted from June 1 to July 5 with a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percent.

Notably, the survey found that just 12 percent of respondents expressed confidence in Congress, with voters of both major political parties expressing skepticism toward the nation's legislative body. Among Republicans, just 7 percent of respondents said they had confidence in Congress, as did only 17 percent of Democrats.

When breaking down the numbers more closely, only 5 percent of U.S. adults said they had a "great deal" of confidence in Congress and just 7 percent said they had "quite a lot" of confidence in the legislative body. Meanwhile, 47 percent said they had "very little" confidence and 37 percent said they had just "some" confidence in Congress.

U.S. Capitol
Gallup released new polling on Wednesday showing that just 12 percent of respondents expressed confidence in Congress. This photo shows the exterior of the U.S. Capitol building—where Congress meet—is seen at sunrise on February 8 in Washington, D.C. Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

Although few Americans expressed confidence in most U.S. institutions, the level for Congress was the lowest of all the institutions Gallup asked respondents about. In addition to Congress, the poll included institutions such as public schools, television news, the presidency, big business, small business, the police, the Supreme Court and the military.

Following Congress, television news received the second-lowest level of confidence. Just 16 percent of U.S. adults expressed confidence in the mainstream media. Big business came in the third-lowest, with only 18 percent of Americans viewing the institution favorably.

Trust in the presidency and the Supreme Court was low as well. Only 38 percent of Americans said they had confidence in the institution of the presidency while just 36 percent said the same of the nation's highest judicial body. The military was the most popular institution, with 69 percent of respondents expressing their confidence in the armed forces.

The new polling aligns with a related survey by Pew Research, the results of which were released in May. That previous poll found that less than a quarter of Americans expressed trust that the government would do the right thing. Only 2 percent said they trusted the government would do the right thing "just about always," while 22 percent said they would do so "most of the time."

Other related polling conducted by Axios and Ipsos in February showed that a plurality of Americans said that their confidence in the federal government was actually boosted by the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While 45 percent said that their confidence in the government got better, just 26 percent said it got worse.