Majority like U.S. agencies — but not government, Gallup poll finds

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In the most recent Gallup polling, 74 percent of Americans rated the U.S. Postal Service as excellent. Overall, those polled approve of federal agencies, but not the U.S. government.  (Matt Rourke/AP, file)

In the most recent Gallup polling, 74 percent of Americans rated the U.S. Postal Service as excellent. Overall, those polled approve of federal agencies, but not the U.S. government. (Matt Rourke/AP, file)

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

Here are this week’s topics.

Although government is viewed by Americans as the country’s most pressing problem, many have fairly positive impressions of some federal government agencies. In fact, eight of the 13 agencies tested earned positive ratings from a majority.

To top the list, the U.S. Postal Service got an extraordinary 74 percent excellent rating. Also included are the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the U.S. Secret Service; the Department of Homeland Security; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Central Intelligence Agency; the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Lowest on the list is the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, with only a 38 percent positive rating. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency also scored ratings below 50 percent.

This week, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “I don’t think anyone can argue it [Trump’s presidency] was probably one of the most successful first years in office.”

In terms of presidential job approval, Trump’s first calendar year was actually the worst of any first-year president on record, and satisfaction with the way things are going is below 30 percent.

Whatever else one may think about 2017, the data are clear that Americans became more positive about the economy, although partisan divide makes a big difference in how respondents regard the topic.

Gallup first asked Americans to name their favorite sport to watch question in 1937 when baseball beat out football  34 to 23 percent. By the 1970s, football moved on top and has remained there ever since. But football as favorite sport has declined since 2007, and this year’s 37 percent who mention it as their favorite sport is the lowest ranking in more than 10 years.

Listen to the audio above to hear the full conversation.

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