A new Gallup poll reports that only 28 percent of Illinois residents trust their state government, by far the lowest rate of any state in the Union. The next-worst levels of trust are in Maine and Rhode Island, where only 40 percent of residents trust their government. California is sixth-worst, with only 49 percent of residents telling Gallup that they trust their state government–despite Gov. Jerry Brown’s high approval ratings.
The poll is the first of its kind, and was conducted over six months with at least 600 respondents in each state. Previously, Gallup notes, it has only reported trust in state government using national polls. Using state-level polls allows Gallup to identify particular trends. More populous states have less trust in state government, and Republican-government states tend to have more trust (67%) than Democrat-governed states (53%). The average level of trust is 58%, which matches the level of trust in the most politically competitive states as well.
Democrat-governed states do far worse than Republican-governed states even when Illinois, a clear outlier due to public perceptions of corruption, is removed from the mix. Notably, Louisiana, which has been governed by the GOP since Gov. Bobby Jindal took office in 2008, has the fifth-worst level of public trust (48%).
California is one of only seven states where distrust of state government is higher than trust, Stephen Frank notes. The highest levels of trust were recorded in North Dakota (77%), with Texas sixth-best at 72%.