Confidence in Congress Stays at Lowest Point in Almost Fifty Years

      Confidence in Congress Stays at Lowest Point in Almost Fifty Years

Confidence in the military and small business still at the top

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, May 21, 2012

NEW YORK, May 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --The Harris Poll has been measuring the
confidence of the American public in the leaders of major institutions since
1966. After seeing drops in confidence in almost all institutions last year,
there is some stability this year as well as some small upward levels of
confidence. However, some institutions are still at all time lows. Again this
year, only 6% of all adults have a great deal of confidence in the leaders of
Congress. Only one in ten Americans (11%) again this year say they have a
great deal of confidence in the press.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100517/NY06256LOGO)

Based on all the responses to this poll we calculate the Harris Confidence
Index. This year, the Index has gone up to 49 after falling to 48 last year,
but still down from 53 in 2010 and 54 in 2009.

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,060 adults surveyed by
telephone and online between April 9 and 17, 2012 by Harris Interactive.

Some of the main findings of this Harris Poll are:

  oAt the top of the list, i.e. the largest numbers of people have a great
    deal ofconfidence in them, are the leaders of the military (55%)
    andsmall business (50%), far ahead of any of the other leaders on the
    list. These numbers have not changed significantly over the last three
    years;
  oAlso high on the list, but substantially lower, are the leaders of
    medicine (34%), and colleges and universities (30%);
  oNot quite at the bottom of the list, but below the top institutions are
    the U.S. Supreme Court (27%, which is up from 24% last year), organized
    religion (23%), the White House (22% which is up from 19% last year), and
    public schools (21%); and,
  oAt the bottom of the list, leaders in whom the public has the least
    confidence are Congress (6%), Wall Street (7%), the press (11%), law firms
    (11%), major companies (15%), organized labor (16%) television news (17%)
    and the courts and the justice system (19%).

So what?

While the confidence index rose one point and a couple of institutions saw
small gains, very little has changed from last year. "The American public
continues to be disgusted with the shenanigans of Congress and Wall Street,"
says Robert Fronk, EVP Reputation Management at Harris Interactive.
"Forgiveness and respect will not return easily for these two entities." The
stabilization in confidence is clearly a better outcome than the slide seen in
the previous 3 years, but many of the institutions that form the backbone of
our nation continue to be perceived as lacking in leadership, which does not
bode well in the short term for our nation.

TABLE 1
CURRENT CONFIDENCE IN LEADERS OF INSTITUTIONS (2011)
"As far as people in charge of running (READ EACH ITEM) are concerned, would
you say you have a great deal of confidence, only some confidence, or hardly
any confidence at all in them?"

Base: All Adults

                               A Great Deal            Hardly Any Not
                                            Only some
                               of                      Confidence Sure/Decline
                               Confidence   Confidence            to Answer
                                                       At All
                               %            %          %          %
The military                   55           33         8          4
Small business                 50           38         7          5
Medicine                       34           43         18         5
Major educational
institutions, such as colleges 30           47         19         4
and universities
The U.S. Supreme Court         27           50         18         5
Organized religion             23           38         30         8
The White House                22           40         34         4
Public schools                 21           48         27         4
The courts and the justice     19           54         23         4
system
Television news                17           48         31         4
Organized labor                16           42         35         7
Major companies                15           55         25         5
Law firms                      12           51         30         8
The press                      11           46         39         4
Wall Street                    7            39         48         6
Congress                       6            42         48         4

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

TABLE 2A
CONFIDENCE IN LEADERS OF INSTITUTIONS (2001-2012)
"As far as people in charge of running (READ EACH ITEM) are concerned, would
you say you have a great deal of confidence, only some confidence, or hardly
any confidence at all in them?"
Those saying "A great deal of confidence"

Base: All Adults

                                                                         Change

             2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2011-

                                                                         2012
             %    %    %    %    %    %    %    %    %    %    %    %    %
The military 44   71   62   62   47   47   46   51   58   59   57   55   -2
Small        X    X    X    X    47   45   54   47   48   50   50   50   0
business
Medicine     32   29   31   32   29   31   37   28   34   34   33   34   +1
Major
educational
institutions 35   33   31   37   39   38   37   32   40   35   30   30   0
such as
colleges and
universities
The U.S.
Supreme      35   41   34   29   29   33   27   25   28   31   24   27   +3
Court
Organized    25   23   19   27   27   30   27   25   30   26   24   23   -1
religion
The White    21   50   40   31   31   25   22   15   36   27   19   22   +3
House
Public       X    X    X    X    26   22   22   20   25   22   20   21   +1
schools
The courts
and the
justice      X    X    X    X    22   21   21   16   19   24   19   19   0

system
Television   24   24   21   17   16   19   20   16   22   17   16   17   +1
news
Organized    15   11   14   15   17   12   15   11   16   14   15   16   +1
labor
Major        20   16   13   12   17   13   16   14   11   15   13   15   +2
companies
Law firms    10   13   12   10   11   10   13   10   11   13   11   12   +1
The press    13   16   15   15   12   14   12   10   12   13   11   11   0
Wall Street  23   19   12   17   15   15   17   11   4    8    7    7    0
Congress     18   22   20   13   16   10   10   8    9    8    6    6    0
The
executive
branch of    20   33   26   23   X    X    X    X    X    X    X    X    X
the federal
government
HARRIS
INTERACTIVE  55   65   57   55   53   52   53   44   54   53   48   49   +1
CONFIDENCE
INDEX*

X = Not asked; * see methodology

Note: Prior to 2011 this survey was conducted by telephone only; the 2011
survey was conducted prior to Osama bin Laden's death.

TABLE 2B
CONFIDENCE IN LEADERS OF INSTITUTIONS (1991-2000)
"As far as people in charge of running (READ EACH ITEM) are concerned, would
you say you have a great deal of confidence, only some confidence, or hardly
any confidence at all in them?"
Those saying "a great deal of confidence"

Base: All Adults

                             1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000
                             %    %    %    %    %    %    %    %    %    %
The military                 X    50   57   39   43   47   37   44   54   48
Small business               47   X    X    X    X    X    X    X    X    X
Medicine                     23   22   22   23   26   29   29   38   39   44
Major educational
institutions such as         X    29   23   25   27   30   27   37   37   36
colleges and universities
The U.S. Supreme Court       15   30   26   31   32   31   28   37   42   34
Organized religion           21   11   X    X    24   X    20   25   27   26
The White House              X    25   23   18   13   15   15   20   22   21
Public schools               X    X    X    X    X    X    X    X    X    X
The courts and the justice   X    X    X    X    X    X    X    X    X    X
system
Television news              9    12   23   20   16   21   18   26   23   20
Organized labor              21   11   X    X    8    X    9    13   15   15
Major companies              20   10   16   19   21   21   18   21   23   28
Law firms                    X    13   11   8    9    11   7    11   10   12
The press                    X    X    15   13   11   14   11   14   15   13
Wall Street                  14   13   13   15   13   17   17   18   30   30
Congress                     9    16   12   8    10   10   11   12   12   15
The executive branch of the  X    X    15   12   9    12   12   17   17   18
federal government
HARRIS INTERACTIVE           45   45   47   43   43   47   42   54   60   59
CONFIDENCE INDEX*

X = Not asked; * see methodology

TABLE 2C
CONFIDENCE IN LEADERS OF INSTITUTIONS (1981-1990)
"As far as people in charge of running (READ EACH ITEM) are concerned, would
you say you have a great deal of confidence, only some confidence, or hardly
any confidence at all in them?"
Those saying "a great deal of confidence"

Base: All Adults

                             1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990
                             %    %    %    %    %    %    %    %    %    %
Small business               X    X    X    X    X    X    X    X    X    X
The military                 28   31   35   45   32   36   35   33   32   43
Medicine                     37   32   35   43   39   33   36   40   30   35
Major educational
institutions such as         34   30   36   40   35   34   36   34   32   35
colleges & universities
The U.S. Supreme Court       29   25   33   35   28   32   30   32   28   32
Organized religion           22   20   22   24   21   22   16   17   16   20
The White House              28   20   23   42   30   19   23   17   20   14
Public Schools               X    X    X    X    X    X    X    X    X    X
The courts and justice       X    X    X    X    X    X    X    X    X    X
system
Television news              24   24   24   28   23   27   29   28   25   27
Organized labor              12   8    10   12   13   11   11   13   10   18
Major companies              16   18   18   19   17   16   21   19   16   9
Law firms                    X    X    12   17   12   14   15   13   X    X
The press                    16   14   19   18   16   19   19   18   18   12
Wall Street                  X    X    X    X    X    X    X    X    8    21
Congress                     16   13   20   28   16   21   20   15   16   14
The executive branch of the  24   X    X    X    19   18   19   16   17   14
federal government
HARRIS INTERACTIVE           51   46   53   63   51   51   53   50   46   50
CONFIDENCE INDEX*

X = Not asked; * see methodology

TABLE 2D
CONFIDENCE IN LEADERS OF INSTITUTIONS (1966-1980)
"As far as people in charge of running (READ EACH ITEM) are concerned, would
you say you have a great deal of confidence, only some confidence, or hardly
any confidence at all in them?"
Those saying "a great deal of confidence"

Base: All Adults

                        1966 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980
                        %    %    %    %    %    %    %    %    %    %    %
The military            61   27   35   40   33   24   23   27   29   29   28
Small business          X    X    X    X    X    X    X    X    X    X    X
Medicine                73   61   48   57   50   43   42   43   42   30   34
Major educational
institutions such as    61   37   33   44   40   36   31   37   41   33   36
colleges & universities
The U.S. Supreme Court  50   23   28   33   40   28   22   29   29   28   27
Organized religion      41   27   30   36   32   32   24   29   24   20   22
The White House         X    X    X    18   28   X    11   31   14   15   18
Public schools          X    X    X    X    X    X    X    X    X    X    X
The courts and justice  X    X    X    X    X    X    X    X    X    X    X
system
Television news         X    X    X    41   31   35   28   28   35   37   29
Organized labor         22   14   15   20   18   14   10   14   15   10   14
Major companies         55   27   27   29   21   19   16   20   22   18   16
Law firms               X    X    X    24   18   16   12   14   18   16   13
The press               29   18   18   30   25   26   20   18   23   28   19
Wall Street             X    X    X    X    X    X    X    X    X    X    12
Congress                42   19   21   X    18   13   9    17   10   18   18
The executive branch of 41   23   27   19   28   13   11   23   14   17   17
the federal government
HARRIS INTERACTIVE      100  58   59   69   64   55   44   55   55   50   49
CONFIDENCE INDEX*

X = Not asked; * see methodology

TABLE 3
CONFIDENCE IN INSTITUTIONS; AVERAGE FOR INDEX IN EACH DECADE

            1960s    1970s   1980s   1990s   2000s    2010s
                             1980 49 1990 50 2000  59 2010 53
                     1971 58 1981 51 1991 45 2001  55 2011 48
                     1972 59 1982 46 1992 45 2002  65 2012 49
                     1973 69 1983 53 1993 47 2003* 57
                     1974 64 1984 63 1994 43 2004  55
                     1975 55 1985 51 1995 43 2005  53
            1966 100 1976 44 1986 51 1996 47 2006  52
                     1977 55 1987 53 1997 42 2007  53
                     1978 55 1988 50 1998 54 2008  44
                     1979 50 1989 46 1999 60 2009  54
AVERAGE FOR 100      57      51      48      55       50
DECADE

*Completed in December 2002

TABLE 4
CONFIDENCE LEVELS – BY PARTY
"As far as people in charge of running … are concerned, would you say you have
a great deal of confidence, only some confidence, or hardly any confidence at
all in them?"
Those saying "a great deal of confidence"

Base: All Adults

                                         Total Party ID
                                               Republican Democrat Independent
                                         %     %          %        %
The military                             55    65         52       55
Small business                           50    58         43       55
Medicine                                 34    33         39       33
Major educational institutions, such as  30    25         37       26
colleges and universities
The U.S. Supreme Court                   27    29         25       28
Organized religion                       23    33         22       18
The White House                          22    6          39       16
Public schools                           21    16         29       21
The courts and the justice system        19    20         23       17
Television news                          17    10         25       14
Organized labor                          16    7          26       14
Major companies                          15    19         12       15
Law firms                                12    10         17       9
The press                                11    5          17       10
Wall Street                              7     6          7        7
Congress                                 6     5          8        5

Methodology

The Harris Poll^® was conducted by telephone and online, within the United
States between April 9 and 17, 2012 among a nationwide cross section of 2,060
adults (aged 18 and over). The interviews conducted by telephone (1016)
included a nationwide cross section of adults with landlines in their
households. The interviews conducted online (1044) included a nationwide
sample who have agreed to take part in Harris Interactive surveys, and who
indicated not having a landline (i.e., cell phone only), or using their cell
phone for almost all of their calls (cell phone mostly), and thus were
included to ensure representation of these groups that are lacking among a
traditional RDD telephone sample. Telephone data only were adjusted to ensure
appropriate representation on number of telephone/voice lines and number of
adults in the household, and online data only were are adjusted by propensity
to be online to correct for attitudinal/behavioral differences between our
panel and those who respond via phone. Finally, for the combined telephone
and online data, figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region,
household income, and phone status (cell phone only, cell phone mostly, dual
users, landline mostly, landline only) were adjusted as necessary to bring
them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Population
proportions for demographic variables were acquired from the 2010 Current
Population Survey, while phone status proportions were acquired from the
National Health Interview Survey (NHIS).

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling,
are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to
quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error
associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and
response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris
Interactive avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All
that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different
probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates.
These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this
ideal.

The Harris Interactive Confidence in Leadership Index measures changes in the
public's confidence in various institutions. It is derived in the following
manner:

1.The index is based on the mean value of the items asked.
2.All items have equal weight.
3.The year 1966, the first year the items were asked, was set as a reference
    year for the index and assigned a score of 100.
4.In order to yield a score of 100 in 1966, the mean value of the original
    10 items was multiplied by a factor of 2.11. This same factor was then
    applied to the mean score in subsequent years, as long as the same items
    were asked.
5.Whenever a new item is added, the multiplication factor is changed so that
    the new item has no effect on that year's score. The new factor is derived
    by calculating the index with and without the new item(s), taking the
    ratio of the two scores, and multiplying this ratio by the old factor.
    (The current factor is 2.14).
6.In years when an item included in a previous year is not asked, it is
    assumed for calculation purposes that no change has occurred in that item
    since the last time it was asked.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National
Council on Public Polls.

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or
promotion without the prior written permission of Harris Interactive.

J41437
Q601
The Harris Poll^® #44, May 21, 2012
By Regina A. Corso, SVP, Harris Poll Insights

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading custom market research firms,
leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant
insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for
pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a
wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs,
energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail,
restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries
and territories through our North American and European offices and a network
of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering
research solutions that help us – and our clients – stay ahead of what's next.
For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.

Press Contact:
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Harris Interactive
212-539-9600
press@harrisinteractive.com





SOURCE Harris Interactive
 
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