The American public has an increasingly positive view of federal agencies, according to a recent Gallup poll, with eight of 13 key government agencies asked about receiving a majority of “excellent” or “good” ratings.
The U.S. Postal Service topped the list for the second time since its first inclusion in 2014, the last time Gallup asked the government agency series. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Secret Service took second and third place. Veterans Affairs took last place.
According to the survey, every agency except the FBI received higher scores than on the 2014 poll, with the Secret Service bumping up 20 percentage points in the number of respondents rating the agency excellent/good.
Though overall federal agency ratings increased, many agencies received split opinions from Democrats and Republicans. For example, though the FBI received zero net change in its score from 2014 to 2017, it lost 13 percentage points among Republicans and gained 9 percentage points among Democrats, likely due to President Trump’s recent disapproval of how the agency has handled investigations into Hillary Clinton and former members of his own campaign.
Party differences were also pronounced in ratings of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, with Republicans rating the agency 21 points higher than Democrats; the Department of Homeland Security, with Republicans rating the agency 17 points higher; and the U.S. Postal Service, which Democrats rated 12 points higher than Republicans.
The two parties have the greatest consensus on rating the CIA, the Environmental Protection Agency and NASA.
According to the Gallup summary of the poll, Democrats had a higher opinion of some agencies under the Trump administration than they did under the Obama administration.
“While the survey did not probe beyond these general ratings, the stabilization or even improvement in Democrats’ results under a Republican administration may show that Democrats clearly differentiate between executive branch government operations and executive branch politics,” Gallup’s Megan Brenan and Steve Ander wrote.
“Alternatively, it may show that Democrats also sympathize with government agencies or employees who serve under a Trump administration. This may be particularly apparent in the differing partisan views of the FBI, about which Trump has said, ‘Its reputation is in tatters.’”