NEW YORK — The 2020 presidential election continues to show how divided American politics has become. Regardless of the outcome, a new poll reveals a majority of the country is already fed up with Washington as a whole. Researchers say no matter which state you’re in, there are clear commonalities among search terms revolving around distrust of politicians or government corruption.
The survey of more 2,000 Americans, commissioned by the group Not Free America, analyzed Google trend data on over 1,700 terms and keywords tied to government distrust. This includes topics like corruption, elected officials, cover-ups, and false claims. Results show that “Deep State” is the most common search term in 15 states.
When it comes to overall trust of government, 54% of respondents have “very little” trust or “no trust” at all in the feds. That number drops to 43% for state officials and 39% for local lawmakers.
Government distrust is a bipartisan issue
The trends reveal whether Americans are voting Democrat or Republican, most voters feel someone in government is lying to them. Typically blue states were more likely to search for “Trump lies” which was the most popular search in eight states including Massachusetts and Wisconsin. Traditionally red states focused on alleged Deep State corruption however, this list also included blue states like California and New Jersey.
Amid the race to the White House, “Biden corrupt” has quickly become the hot Google search in potential swing states like Nevada and Minnesota.
Distrust is not simply a party line issue, according to the study. In many states, there appears to be a high level of skepticism about local politicians as well. For example, “Bernie Sanders corrupt” is the most searched phrase in the Democrat’s home state of Vermont. Similar searches also targeted Brian Kemp in Georgia, Cory Gardner in Colorado, Mitch McConnell in Kentucky, and Mitt Romney in Utah. In heavily-Democratic New York, Americans are none too happy with the House majority leader, as “Nancy Pelosi corrupt” wins the Google trends there.
Overall, the poll finds 45 percent of respondents don’t have very much faith in their elected officials. Over half (51%) believe they don’t have a voice in what the government does. Only 43 percent say they have a “great deal” or “fair amount” of trust in President Trump. While that may be low, Americans placed even less faith in the House and Senate (40%).
2020 Election skepticism
Although millions of ballots have already been filled out, one in three Americans say they have little faith in the 2020 election process. Much of this has to do with mail-in voting, according to the survey. Three-quarters of the poll trust their vote to be counted fairly only if they deliver it to the polls themselves. Only 63 percent have the same reaction to mailing ballots.
Election confidence was the lowest among independents, as 43 percent expressed concern over the voting process this year. Despite more opposition from the president, Republicans polled have less of an issue with the voting process (20%) than Democrats do (34%).
COVID officials still have the nation’s trust
While the federal government may be in the doghouse with the public, Americans are placing their trust in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic. Two-thirds (67%) say they trust the CDC when they provide updates on the virus.
Over 50 percent of the poll add they have little or no trust in information coming from government officials regarding COVID-19.