2017-01-31 National Governors Association

New Poll Says Americans Trust Their Governors

The National Governors Association worked with Luntz Global Partners* to survey 1,000 voters nationwide. The goal was to gauge people’s views on states and governance.

According to the survey, Americans trust their governors. Voters were more optimistic about their state’s future than the country’s, and they agree their governors work hard to serve citizens and deliver results. One of the most important findings reveals—by a margin of 30 points—that voters believe state governments have “the most dedicated public servants who are in it for the right reasons,” rather than the federal government.

American citizens are looking to states to tackle more issues and believe governors will handle those issues more successfully. On most issues, Americans trust states and governors more than they trust the federal government. The list of issues voters gave governors the thumbs up for includes education; job-training and workforce development; roads, transportation and infrastructure; and economic spending and innovation.

In an era where voters don’t feel “listened to” and want their leaders to “be their voice,” governors are poised to deliver on what voters demand. This isn’t about academic or ideological “federalism”—it’s about how the American people are calling for a new relationship with and between their governments. The American people want an equal, 50-50 partnership between their state and federal governments, rather than states being a secondary partner. They believe governors should be advocates for them in Washington, not just playing their parts at the state and local level.

Finally, citizens want cooperation. Most voters want their state officials to “cooperate and compromise to get things done, working with politicians from the other party, even if it means you don’t get everything you or the voters want.” Voters trust their governors to cooperate because in an era of distrust of politicians, Americans trust their governor more than any other elected official.

To view the full results from the poll, click here.

*The National Governors Association collaborated with Luntz Global Partners to produce a nationwide survey of voters that highlights Americans’ views of states and governance. Luntz Global Partners’ public opinion work spans around the globe and across every industry.

In December of 2016, 1,000 participants from across the country took this survey. The respondents identified were all voters with 68% voting on Election Day and 22% voting early. Each region of the country was represented with 24% of respondents from the East, 21% from the Industrial/Midwest, 17% from the West/Midwest, 25% from the South and 13% from the Pacific.

48% of respondents were men and 52% were women with 15% of the participants being between the age range of 18-29, 31% in the range of 30-49, 30% being between 50-64 and 24% were ages 65+ and over. 80% of those taking the survey were White/Caucasian, 9% African American, 6% Hispanic and 6% identified as other.