Americans confidence greatest in military; least in Congress, medical system

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    NewsWorks Tonight host Dave Heller sits down for his weekly conversation with Gallup’s Frank Newport to talk about trends in U.S. opinion.

    Gallup’s annual confidence in institutions update is out. Of Americans polled, confidence in 14 core institutions taken together is up on average this year  driven mainly by an increase in confidence among Republicans.

    Polling data show that trust in the news media — operationalized in the data as newspapers, television news, and internet news — remains low, certainly germane in a time of Trumpian excoriation of the aforementioned.

    Across party lines, Democrats’ trust in newspapers is actually up significantly this year, though Republican’s confidence in newspapers is not.

    The military engender the greatest confidence on the part of the public, Congress the least.

    Although health care isn’t the top problem facing the nation, it is the single most often mentioned problem facing American families today. And as the Senate continues to wrestle with the challenge of coming up with a health care bill, two points to remember:

    The government per se, and the process of coming up with legislation, is seen as more of the big problem facing the nation than health care itself.
    The public wants compromise and wants their elected representatives to focus on what is best for the public, not rigid ideological positions and special interests.

    Note that Americans have very low levels of confidence in the “medical system,” but other research shows that nurses, pharmacists, and doctors have high personal ratings. It’s the system that Americans are leery of, not the people who run the system.

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