Polling beyond the presidential race

Most political polls are showing President Obama on an upward swing, particularly in the battleground states. But there are other topics being measured. For instance:

* Given the partisan gridlock, it’s not surprising that Americans trust Congress the least of the three branches of government, according to Gallup.  The judicial branch rates the highest at 67% trust, followed by the executive branch at 56%. The legislative branch comes in at 34%. Most interesting is the chart that shows Americans’ trust in Congress and the presidency starting its steep decline in 2003. Gallup’s conclusion: “The Founding Fathers set up the legislative branch, of course, to directly represent the people. The low level of trust rank-and-file Americans have in that branch thus signifies at least a temporary disruption in what the Founders may have envisioned.”

* With that in mind, Gallup also asked about trust in the federal government to handle international problems. “Two-thirds of Americans say they have a “great deal” (18%) or “fair amount” (48%) of trust in the federal government when it comes to handling international problems, vs. 57% last September, whereas a third have “not very much” trust or “none at all.” Bear that in mind as Obama and Gov. Romney campaign on who can handle foreign policy the best.

An Associated Press/GfK poll showed that nearly 7 in 10 Americans think the Affordable Health Care Act “will go fully into effect with some changes, ranging from minor to major alterations. Just 12 percent say they expect the Affordable Care Act – “Obamacare” to dismissive opponents – to be repealed completely.” For what it’s worth, last April, the Elon University Poll asked North Carolina residents their opinions of the Affordable Health Care Act. Most said they didn’t care for it. 

— John Robinson



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