The public trust in United States institutions such as the media, military and police have dropped, according to a survey released Wednesday.
The Reagan Institute’s third annual National Defense Survey indicated that trust in the media fell from 16% to 14%. Confidence in military fell 14 percentage points, while confidence in police fell from 50% to 39%. Confidence in the Supreme Court similarly declined, although not as drastically. (RELATED: Poll: Most Americans Now Say COVID-19 Pandemic Getting Better)
The American public’s trust and confidence in the US military and the police has fallen by double digits since 2018, survey finds, but they still remain the two most trusted institutions in the country by far. https://t.co/EWbIVf8Yad
— NBC News (@NBCNews) March 10, 2021
Some of the results were indicative of a divided nation. “Almost all Americans (88%), and an equal percentage of Republicans and Democrats, are worried that political polarization will lead to violence,” the institute said in a press release.
Another indication of political divide was the significant difference between Democrats’ and Republicans’ perception of international threats. The results showed that 55% of Republicans and 39% of Independents view China as the biggest threat, compared to 28% of Democrats who put Russia in that category.
Overall, however, more Americans seemed to view China with suspicion. Past surveys indicated that Americans wanted to invest a military presence in the contentious Middle East, Americans now favor increasing the presence in Asia, according to the press release.
The Reagan Institute is a nonprofit dedicated to promoting the legacy of former President Ronald Reagan. The annual survey was not conducted in 2020 and was delayed until this year.
The survey was conducted on 2,500 participants from Feb. 4 to Feb. 14. The margin of error ranged from +/- 1.96 to +/- 2.77.