You might think that doesn’t mean much.
I have more confidence in your average schizophrenic homeless man screaming at ghosts than I do in the media. And you probably think I’m being too generous.
But the pattern here is that conservative institutions still tend to inspire more confidence than lefty ones.
Just three institutions — the military (73%), small business (68%) and the police (53%) — have garnered majority levels of confidence in all polls Gallup has conducted on each measure over the past two decades. The military has been the top-ranked institution or tied for the top-ranked institution each year since 1986.
Though 38% of Americans say they have confidence in the U.S. presidency, it is exceeded by the percentage of people who have very little or no confidence in this branch of government (44%), giving this institution a net-negative score.
Slightly more than a third of Americans also express confidence in the Supreme Court (38%), organized religion (36%) and the medical system (36%), while slightly less than a third have confidence in banks (30%), public schools (29%) and organized labor (29%).
Fewer than one in four Americans have confidence in the criminal justice system (24%), newspapers (23%) and big business (23%).
Americans have the least confidence in television news (18%) and Congress (11%).
I wonder why.
The police earn more than twice the confidence level of the media.
The media screeches that the death of newspapers means the death of democracy. But the public has very little confidence in them. And even less in TV news.
The media trots out public schools as a banner cause, but people have very little confidence in public schools, less even than in banks.
Meanwhile small business scores twice as high as schools do.
There’s plenty of material here for smart conservative politicians to work with.