Most Americans trust people, not leaders

The Rasmussen Reports polling firm defines “Mainstream Americans” as those who “tend to trust the wisdom of the crowd more than their political leaders and are skeptical of both big government and big business”. This group now makes about two thirds of the American public. The other extreme point in their scale – those who support the political class – make a mere 4%. The rest place themselves somewhere in between the extremes.

More from the findings:

Polling conducted from January 18 through January 24 found that 76% of voters generally trust the American people more than political leaders on important national issues. Seventy-one percent (71%) view the federal government as a special interest group, and 70% believe that the government and big business typically work together in ways that hurt consumers and investors. On each question, a majority of Republicans, Democrats and unaffiliated voters share those views.

The last point – the fact that such views are common across the standard political spectrum – reveals that the stereotypes of groups along that spectrum are misleading. Rasmussen Reports add:

Over time, we have found that those with Mainstream views often have a very different perspective from those who support the Political Class. In many cases, the gap between the Mainstream view and the Political Class is larger than the gap between Mainstream Republicans and Democrats.