Northeast Most Trusting of Federal Government; South Least Trusting, According to Analysis of Latest American Pulse™ Survey

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3,839 respondents participated in the 2nd January American Pulse conducted 1/25-2/3/2012, utilizing BIGinsight™ and reInvention survey panels. The latest results show that the majority of Americans feel like there is a trust deficit between citizens and elected officials. An analysis of the data by BIGinsight created a Federal Government Trust Index which shows the Northeast is the most trusting region while the South is the least trusting. In addition, if given the choice in 2012, Americans would most trust an entrepreneur to lead the country rather than a politician.

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"With entrepreneur being one of the most trusted professions to lead the country, it’s clear that voters will be looking for an innovative candidate this election season."

The vast majority of Americans (86.3%) feel like there is a “trust deficit” between citizens and elected officials, according to the January American Pulse™ Survey. A BIGinsight™ analysis of this recent survey shows that different areas of the country are more trusting than others. According to the Federal Government Trust Index, which compares the level of trust in each census region to the trust of the nation as a whole, the Northeast is more trusting than other regions with an index of 118.8.

For this index, a score of 100 means that trust in that particular region is on par with the level of trust across the nation. A score above 100 indicates more trust in federal officials while a score less than 100 indicates a lower level of trust. The Midwest (101.7) follows not so closely behind the Northeast, and citizens in this region appear more trusting than those in the West (96.7). The South has the lowest level of trust for the President and Congress as a whole, with an index of 89.8.

Among Adults 18+ across the nation, distrust runs deep, as more Americans say they somewhat or completely distrust elected officials vs. those who say they trust them. However, the President is the most trusted among other elected officials, with 37.9% saying they somewhat or completely trust the Commander in Chief. Elected local officials (26.4%) and state officials (16.7%) follow. Congressmen are the least trusted, with only 1 in 10 (9.8%) admitting partial or complete trust. Americans in the Northeast put slightly more faith in the House and Senate (12.2%).

Americans across the nation appear to be looking for someone with new ideas and determination to lead the nation. If they could choose citizens from any profession to run the country, 23.8% say they would trust an entrepreneur. 17.6% would elect a teacher while 17.4% would choose a CEO. Americans of varying ages, however, place trust in different professions:

“Who would you trust most from the following professions to run the country?” (Top 5)

Generation Y
Teacher: 16.6%
Entrepreneur: 15.1%
CEO: 12.8%
Politician: 12.4%
Ambassador: 8.1%

Generation X
Entrepreneur: 24.0%
Teacher: 19.5%
CEO: 17.0%
Ambassador: 6.5%
Construction worker: 6.1%

Entrepreneur: 27.4%
CEO: 18.7%
Teacher: 17.2%
Clergy: 7.5%
Politician: 5.4%

Silent Generation
Entrepreneur: 26.2%
CEO: 20.5%
Teacher: 16.4%
Clergy: 9.8%
Lawyer: 6.5%

Source: American Pulse™ Survey, Jan-2012

“With entrepreneur being one of the most trusted professions to lead the country, it’s clear that voters will be looking for an innovative candidate this election season,” said Dianne Kremer, Senior Analyst at BIGinsight. “Also noteworthy is the fact that neither Gen X nor the Silent Generation listed politicians in their top five trusted professions, further indicating that many Americans are fed up with the status quo.”

For a special report including the top issues for Election 2012, as well as census and generation segments, click here.

American Pulse™
The American Pulse™ Survey is collected online twice a month covering topics such as politics, pop culture and the economy. 3,839 respondents participated in the 2nd January American Pulse conducted 1/25-2/3/2012. Margin of error is +/- 1.6%.

reInvention LLC
reInvention LLC provides global sampling and data collection services. Driven by a passion for making it incredibly easy to survey audiences anywhere in the world, reInvention delivers high-quality responses and superior results. OneOpinion, reInvention’s respondent panel, is a next generation survey taking platform that encourages survey participation through sophisticated technology, honest communications, and respectful compensation. reInvention was founded by Hugh Davis and Keith Price and is headquartered in Westport, CT.

Chrissy Wissinger
Randi Honkonen

reInvention LLC
Jim Nikolis


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