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.