Poll: Most Utahns Don’t Trust Federal Government

Congress 06Half of all Utahns trust their state government, but 60 percent DON’T trust the federal government, a new UtahPolicy poll finds.

The survey gives political support to the GOP-controlled Legislature and Republican Gov. Gary Herbert to continue their fight against the feds over any number of issues: Healthcare, taking back millions of federally-owned lands, environmental regulations and on and on, the new survey by Dan Jones & Associates shows.

Jones asked, one a scale of 1 to 5, if you have no confidence, are neutral, or have high confidence in you state governor or federal government.

A ranking of 1 and 2 show no or little confidence, 3 is neutral, and 4 and 5 are some and high confidence in those two levels of government.

Jones finds:

  • 50 percent of Utahns have confidence in how their state government is being run.
  • 22 percent have no confidence in Utah state government.
  • And 28 percent are neutral.

Utahns feelings about our federal government are just the opposite:

  • 57 percent have no confidence in the federal government.
  • 15 percent do trust the feds.
  • And 28 percent are neutral.

Of course, Utah state government is currently run by Republicans – the four statewide elected offices, governor, attorney general, treasurer and auditor – are all Republicans and the Utah House and Senate are overwhelmingly Republican.

Utah is heavily Republican, so it makes sense that most Utahns would like how their political party is running things locally.

On the federal side, President Barack Obama is a Democrat, but the U.S. Senate and House are controlled by Republicans.

And Utahns for some time have not liked the federal government, even if the presidency is held by a Republican.

You see the partisanship in these numbers:

  • Utah Republicans trust our state leaders, 65-10 percent.
  • Democrats don’t trust our state leaders, 42-28 percent.
  • Political independents (who don’t belong to any political party) trust our state leaders, 41-29 percent.

Watch those numbers switch when asked about the federal government:

  • Democrats do trust the federal government, 46-20 percent.
  • Republicans don’t trust the feds, 65-7 percent.
  • And political independents don’t trust the federal government, 56-14 percent.

Members of the Mormon Church have a long, long history of not trusting or liking the federal U.S. government – going back to pioneer days when the president sent federal troops to Utah to oversee the Mormon settlements.

Modern Latter-day Saints in Utah aren’t liking the federal government much these days, either.

Jones finds that 61 percent of those who self-identified as “very active” Mormons don’t have confidence in the federal government; only 9 percent of Utah Mormons trust the feds; while 30 percent are neutral.

On the state side, 63 percent of active Mormons trust the Utah state government, 26 percent are neutral, and only 12 percent don’t trust their state leaders.

That is a big boost for Herbert and the GOP-controlled Legislature. Herbert is active LDS, as are around 80 percent of state House and Senate members.

Jones polled 605 Utahns from Sept. 1-9. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.98 percent.