Americans Distrust The Political Class, But Don't Want To Make The Final Decisions

May 17, 2012, 12:00 PM GMT+0

(Week of 5/12/2012) In this week’s Economist/YouGov Poll, respondents were asked how strongly they agree or disagree with a series of statements about the way American democracy functions. On most of these questions, respondents gave views that suggested strong negative feelings about America’s political class. For example, only 27% agree that political disagreements among politicians usually occur because "there are good arguments on both sides of an issue." Only 19% agree with the view that all Americans are well-represented in the current political system. And 70% of Americans believe that "Washington lobbyists and interest groups distort the political process, and we’d be better off without them."

Despite their negative feelings about politicians and interest groups, Americans are divided about whether the solution involves giving more power to the people. 52% of Americans believe that most people don’t have the knowledge to make good decisions about political issues. Instead, most people believe that the system would work better if politicians continued to make the decisions, but listened to the people more when doing it. 56% of Americans believe that "the will of the people is pretty clear, and politicians should just follow it."

Economist/YouGov poll archives can be found here

Photo source: Press Association