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New poll: 75 percent of Americans hesitant to trust the federal government

American FlagsIn the wake of recent scandals, it’s no surprise that Americans are hesitant to trust the federal government.

According to a new Rasmussen poll, just 24 percent of likely voters believe that the federal government does the right thing most or all of the time when it acts. Among the 75 percent of people who expressed a lack of trust in the federal government’s actions, 47 percent said they trust the federal government to do the right thing only some of the time and 28 percent stated they rarely or never trust the government to do the right thing.

The heightened suspicion of the federal government’s actions is likely a result of the multiple scandals that have revealed some questionable behaviors by federal agencies, from the Internal Revenue Service’s inappropriate targeting of conservative groups to the Department of Justice’s probe into the phone records of Associated Press reporters and last week’s revelation that the National Security Agency was monitoring the phone records of more than 100 million people.

Another Rasmussen poll released on Monday found that 68 percent of Americans believe that the federal government is still listening to their phone conversations despite President Obama’s assurances that the NSA surveillance program only involved individual’s phone records.

Earlier this month Rasmussen found that 56 percent of voters viewed the federal government as a threat, and not a protector of their individual rights – a jump of 10 points since December. In December, the figure was 10 percentage points lower, with 46 percent of Americans viewing the federal government as a threat to their individual rights.

Rasmussen Reports surveyed 1,000 likely voters nationwide on June 10-11. The margin of error for the study was +/- 3 percent at a 95 percent level of confidence.


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