The FedGov Is Losing Its Legitimacy
New Low: 17% Say U.S. Government Has Consent of the Governed
Fewer voters than ever feel the federal government has the consent of the governed.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 17% of Likely U.S. Voters think the federal government today has the consent of the governed. Sixty-nine percent (69%) believe the government does not have that consent. Fourteen percent (14%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
The number of voters who feel the government has the consent of the governed – a foundational principle, contained in the Declaration of Independence – is down from 23% in early May and has fallen to its lowest level measured yet.
Perhaps it’s no surprise voters feel this way since only eight percent (8%) believe the average member of Congress listens to his or her constituents more than to their party leaders. That, too, is the lowest level measured to date. Eighty-four percent (84%) think the average congressman listens to party leaders more than the voters they represent.
Voter approval of the job Congress is doing has fallen to a new low – for the second month in a row. Only six percent (6%) now rate Congress’ performance as good or excellent.
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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on August 1-2, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
Democrats and voters not affiliated with either political party are more inclined to think the government does have the consent of the governed, but sizable majorities of all three groups don’t believe that to be the case.