Report

Budget Woes Take Toll on Views of State Governments

  • August 11, 2009

With the economy wreaking havoc on state budgets, the favorability ratings of state governments have declined from a year ago. Overall, 50% of the public now holds a favorable opinion of their state government, down from 59% in April 2008. The falloff in positive views has been greater in states with large and moderate budget shortfalls than in states with smaller budget gaps.

As positive ratings of state governments have declined, people's ratings of their local governments have remained relatively stable. By nearly a two-to-one margin, Americans express a favorable opinion of their local governments (60% favorable, 32% unfavorable), which is largely unchanged from April 2008 (63% favorable).

The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted July 22-26, 2009 finds that favorability ratings of the federal government have rebounded somewhat since last year. Currently, 50% have an unfavorable opinion of the federal government while 42% express a favorable view. By comparison, in April 2008 views of the federal government were the lowest they have been in a decade (58% unfavorable, 37% favorable).

Read the full report Budget Woes Take Toll on Views of State Governments on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press' Web site.