Faith in … Us?

It’s easy to make too much of any poll.  At best a poll is only a snapshot of the ebb and flow of opinion – and that’s assuming the polltakers called more than a few people and did the math right.  A good poll usually does little more than take what people know in their guts and move it into a kind of intellectual argument with real numbers.  The use of that is for you to judge.

But there is one poll that appears to be worth contemplating.  According to a CNN poll of 1,010 people who bothered to answer their phone, 15% of Americans now think that the Federal government will “do what’s right just about always or most of the time.”  This is a new low since the question was first asked in 1958 (pdf).

This naturally begs the question, “15%?  Really?  That high?”  But there’s a lot more to it than that.

Continue reading