Gallup CEO: Belief that current government is corrupt fuels Trump popularity
Widespread belief that the current federal government is corrupt has fueled Donald Trump's surprising resilience in the polls, suggests the head of the Gallup polling organization.
"A staggering 75% of the American public believe corruption is 'widespread' in the U.S. government. Not incompetence, but corruption. This alarming figure has held steady since 2010, up from 66% in 2009," writes Gallup chairman and CEO Jim Clifton at the firm's website.
In an article titled "Explaining Trump: Widespread Government Corruption," Clifton notes:
The perception that there's widespread corruption in the national government could be a symptom of citizen disengagement and anger. Or it could be a cause -- we don't know. But it's very possible this is a big, dark cloud that hangs over this country's progress. And it might be fueling the rise of an unlikely, non-traditional leading Republican candidate for the presidency, Donald Trump.
And Clifton suggests that Trump benefits from being a candidate who's "outside the system."
But think about that top-line number. Clifton calls it "staggering." And it is. Under Obama, three quarters of Americans now believe that the administration is corrupt. Among what would be considered traditional Western democracies, Gallup reports that only the populations of Spain and Portugal have higher percentages who think that about their governments (84% and 86%, respectively.)
Given the many scandals of the current administration (Fast & Furious, IRS, Benghazi, etc., etc.), it is not surprising that a higher percentage of Americans see their current government as corrupt than do the populations of the U.K. (46%) and Canada (44%). But more Americans now think their government is corrupt than do the people of Uruguay (40%), Estonia (44%), and even Malta (50%.)
Clifton's article is a perceptive analysis, and part of an overall series he has written about the negative impact of current federal policies on American business. Each is well worth a read.