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: Corporate Communications Harris Interactive 212-539-9600 press@harrisinteractive.com      SOURCE Harris Interactive  
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