Poll: Millennials Have 'Historically Low' Levels of Trust in Government

Poll: Millennials Have 'Historically Low' Levels of Trust in Government

A new poll reveals that Americans between the ages of 18-29 have a lower level of trust in government than any previous generation.

The poll, released by Harvard University’s Institute of Politics, showed that Millennials have lost faith in several institutions such as the presidency, the military, Congress, the Supreme Court, and government in general.

Trust levels in this newest poll fell even below last year’s record lows. In fact, in most cases, the survey has shown a precipitous drop since 2010.

Except for one, the institutions in the poll didn’t even approach a 50-percent level of trust, with few respondents saying they trusted them to “do the right thing all or most of the time.” The only categories staying essentially flat over past years were Wall Street and local and state government. Yet even as trust in those three institutions did not change much, none of them approached 50 percent in trustworthiness.

Of the choices, only the military climbed over 50 percent.

The poll also found that young people have little interest in the upcoming midterm election except those claiming to be Republicans.

“Currently, there seems to be more enthusiasm for midterm voting among traditional Republican consistencies than Democratic ones,” the report says. “For example, 44 percent of those who voted for Mitt Romney in 2012 say they are ‘definitely voting,’ which is a statistically significant difference compared to the 35 percent of 2012 Obama voters who say the same. Additionally, self-identified conservatives (32%) are 10 points more likely to vote than liberals (22%).”

The poll also claimed that previous respondents identified more as Democrats, but that is shifting in favor of Republicans. “Where younger Millennials once held a 15-point Democrat to Republican margin, we now see this margin shifting to 25- to 29- year olds, while the 18-to 24- year olds margin is shrinking,” they said.

This is not the only recent poll showing that Millennials are losing trust in government as well as checking out of the political process.

A Pew poll from March also found that the age group was losing faith in politics and government.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com.