- 68% have confidence in state governors on economic recommendations
- Less than half have confidence in Trump, Republican, Democratic leaders
- Confidence in economic leadership varies drastically by political party
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- More than two in three Americans (68%) say they have "a great deal" or a "fair amount" of confidence in their state's governor to make the right economic recommendations -- a higher level of confidence than they have for federal leaders, including President Donald Trump (47%) as well as Republican (47%) and Democratic leaders (46%) in Congress.
|Great deal/Fair amount|
|The governor in your state||68|
|Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell||58|
|Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin||51|
|President Donald Trump||47|
|The Republican leaders in Congress||47|
|The Democratic leaders in Congress||46|
|Gallup, April 1-14, 2020|
These data -- from Gallup's annual Economy and Finance survey, conducted April 1-14 -- come as U.S. markets struggle to rebound amid the COVID-19 outbreak, and as the number of people applying for unemployment insurance has skyrocketed. President Trump has sparred with numerous governors across the country and the political spectrum over their policies surrounding the response to the coronavirus outbreak, as well as their decisions on when to "reopen" the economy.
The current level of confidence in state governors to handle the economy is higher than the previous 58% and 51% ratings that governors received in 2011 and 2014, respectively -- though governors ranked much higher than federal leaders in each of those polls as well.
Meanwhile, small majorities of Americans have confidence in the economic management of U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin (51%) and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell (58%). Powell's latest confidence rating is higher than the 45% and 50% figures Gallup found in his first two years in the role.
While Americans are more confident now in governors and Powell in terms of economic recommendations than in the past -- perhaps because of their response to the coronavirus situation -- the same cannot be said about Trump and congressional leaders. Less than half of Americans express confidence in Trump or Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress; each of their ratings is stable from last year.
Confidence in Economic Leadership Varies Greatly by Political Party
Majorities express confidence in their state's governor's handling of the economy across all political stripes, though it is higher among Democrats (77%) than among Republicans (63%) and independents (62%).
While confidence in Trump to make the right economic recommendations is nearly unanimous among Republicans (93%), the level of confidence in the president is less than half that among political independents (45%), and even lower among Democrats (13%).
Republicans and Democrats express solid levels of confidence in their respective political party's leadership in Congress -- and low confidence in the opposing party's leadership. Meanwhile, less than half of independents have confidence in either party's congressional leaders but express slightly higher confidence in Republican leadership (44%) than Democratic (39%).
About seven in 10 Republicans say they have confidence in Powell's economic leadership, compared with slim majorities among independents and Democrats. Meanwhile, Republicans (74%) are more than twice as likely as Democrats (35%) to express confidence in Mnuchin's economic recommendations, while about half of independents have confidence in the secretary, the lead Trump administration negotiator in the coronavirus relief bill passed last month.
|% Great deal/Fair amount||% Great deal/Fair amount||% Great deal/Fair amount|
|The governor in your state||63||62||77|
|Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell||69||54||52|
|Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin||74||49||35|
|President Donald Trump||93||45||13|
|The Republican leaders in Congress||85||44||18|
|The Democratic leaders in Congress||16||39||79|
|Gallup, April 1-14, 2020|
It's a critical moment for leaders in government, as unemployment applications mount and confidence in the U.S. economy tanks.
While Americans place their greatest trust in their state's executive, the reality is that the 50 governors have had drastically different approaches to the economic crisis within their borders -- with some taking steps to reopen their economies despite concerns and others taking a more cautious approach.
While the governors as a whole inspire higher confidence ratings than the president, this was also the case in two separate measures taken under President Barack Obama. But confidence ratings for state governors have improved since Gallup's last measure, while Trump's ratings have not.
Partisan leaders in Congress, as well as Trump -- who ultimately has to sign legislation they pass -- receive confidence ratings from less than half of the public. But these leaders might find a blueprint to bipartisan work in their recent economic stimulus bill, which was popular across the political spectrum.
Learn more about how the Gallup Poll Social Series works.