With trust in government low, Americans favor military action against Islamic State

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     Obama has begun to lay out a strategy to defeat Islamic State militants in the Middle East. (AP Photo/Jon Super, File)

    Obama has begun to lay out a strategy to defeat Islamic State militants in the Middle East. (AP Photo/Jon Super, File)

    Americans in general favor the types of military actions Obama put forward in his speech Wednesday night, though prior to the speech, Americans’ confidence in the federal government to handle both domestic and international affairs has reached new lows.

    Frank Newport, editor in chief of the Gallup Poll, tells us that 42 percent of Americans have a great deal or fair amount of trust in the government to handle domestic issues, and 44 percent trust the government to handle international issues. These are the lowest numbers in their history of tracking, he notes.

    Now, less than eight weeks out from the midterm elections, how tuned in are Americans to the midterm elections? Do they care who wins? It turns out that fewer Americans care than in the last midterm election year, 2010. However, notes Newport, of the 80 percent who disapprove of Congress, 66 percent say that their dissatisfaction motiveates them to go out and change things with their vote. So, such big disapproval of Congress may lead to some higher voter turnout.

    As for who wins, Republicans and Democrats care more than independents. And with a plurtality of Americans, about 40 percent, identifying as independent, there’s an uphill struggle ahead for both sides.

    Finally, recent Pew research addresses the issue of whether constantly checking emails outside of work is a good thing or a bad thing. The majority of respondents say they are glad they can check work email at home, but paradoxically this has been found to be a major source of stress. It depends on how much you like your job, says Newport. If you’re engaged at work, you’re less likely to be stressed out by the intrusion of work email at home. But if you don’t love your job, then the idea of being connected outside of work creates more stress.

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