Utah voters say they trust local government the most while they’re wary of the feds


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Utahns don’t believe the federal government is the place to make decisions that impact their lives, a new UtahPolicy.com/Y2 Analytics survey shows.

But there is a huge difference on the subject between Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals, the new poll finds.

UtahPolicy.com asked a number of questions seeking upon which level of government Utah voters most rely; which level of government carries the most trust of the people.

By and large, the results show Utahns are wary of the federal government, more accepting of state government actions, but hold most of their respect for local governments — city councils, county commissions and locally-elected school boards.

Asked which level of government should make decisions that impact you the most, again, voters pick local officials.


Here are some of the numbers:

— 16 percent of Utah voters said the federal government is best suited to make those important decisions.

— 38 percent said state government.

— And 45 percent said local government.

But look at the differences between “strong” Republicans, political independents, and “strong” Democrats:

— Only 7 percent of “strong” Republicans said the federal government is the best place to make those decisions.

— But 51 percent of “strong” Democrats want the federal government making those decisions.

— Independents like local governments making those decisions: 9 percent favor the feds, 36 percent say state and 55 percent say locals.

Utah state government is run by Republicans — all the statewide offices and supermajorities in the state House and Senate.

With that understanding, “strong” Republicans want the state making important decisions (45 percent), with 48 percent saying they want local governments making decisions that most impact their lives.

Democrats hold no statewide offices in Utah, and small minorities in the Legislature — so members of the other party are making state decisions.

That’s why, in part, 51 percent of Democrats want the federal government making decisions on their behalf, 30 percent say the state, and only 19 percent say local governments.

We see the same divisions among those who said they are “strong” conservatives, moderates, and “strong” liberals.

For “strong” conservatives, 5 percent want the federal government making important decisions, 37 percent say state, and 58 percent say locals.

Moderates: 18 percent say federal government, 37 percent want state officials making those important decisions, and 45 percent say local officials.

“Strong” liberals trust the federal government, 51 percent; 32 percent say state officials; and only 18 percent want locals making those decisions.