From NBC's Mark Murray
The new Pew survey showing that only 22% of the country trust the federal government in Washington is receiving lots of attention -- and deservedly so.
But the poll doesn't ask why people aren't trusting the federal government and whom they are blaming for the distrust. Fortunately, our January NBC/WSJ poll delved into these questions.
In that survey, just 28% said that the federal government was healthy or working ok, versus a whopping 70% who said it wasn't working or was unhealthy. By comparison, in Dec. 2000 -- as the Bush vs. Gore presidential contest was still unresolved -- our poll showed that 55% said the federal government was working, compared with 43% who said it wasn't working.
Strikingly, the Jan. 2010 NBC/WSJ poll found that the public was blaming congressional Republicans and congressional Democrats more than they were President Obama: 48% said they blamed congressional Republicans for not finding solutions to the problems the U.S. is facing, 41% blamed congressional Democrats, and 27% blamed Obama.
And why isn't the public trusting the government? That Jan. 2010 poll found that 93% said there's too much partisan fighting between Democrats and Republicans; 84% said special interests have too much influence over legislation; 74% said the government isn't doing enough to regulate Wall Street; 61% said Democratic majorities are trying to push through legislation without bipartisan compromise; an equal 61% said Republicans are trying to block any Democratic legislation without bipartisan compromise; 58% said the federal government is doing too much; and 47% said Obama is failing to provide the kind of leadership needed on the economy and health care.