WASHINGTON - Voters trust local government to address the issues that matter most to them more than any other level of government according to results from a new Mason-Dixon poll for the National League of Cities. The nationwide poll surveyed 1,000 registered voters on March 27 and 28 and April 1, 2013.
"This poll confirms the strength of our nation's cities and towns and their efficiency in managing the various needs of our diverse communities," said Clarence Anthony, Executive Director of the National League of Cities. "Local governments are trusted to address the issues that are critical to the everyday lives of Americans."
The poll asked 1,000 voters, "Which level of government do you trust the most to address issues that matter in your life: local government, state government or the federal government?" It found that 37 percent put the most trust in their local governments, as opposed to 22 percent for state and 12 percent for federal. Women put more faith in local government than men, and voters with the most trust in local government and the least in the federal government are men and women between the ages of 35 and 49.
No Republican respondents said they trust the federal government most. Similarly, only 22 percent of Democrats and 12 percent of Independents expressed the most trust in the federal government. In contrast, trust in local government is solid across party lines with 32 percent of Democrats, 39 percent of Independents and 40 percent of Republicans saying they trust local government most. State government is most trusted by 26 percent of Republicans, 21 percent of Independents and 19 percent of Democrats.
"While trust in the federal government appears to be fractured and tragically low, this survey shows that when it comes to getting the job done on critical issues in people's lives, voters firmly entrust their local leaders to represent them best," said Marie Lopez Rogers, President of the National League of Cities and Mayor of Avondale, Ariz. "Voters would rather have the issues they care about addressed by their local leaders who are neighbors they know and trust. That makes the work of the National League of Cities in bringing local voices to national leaders so critical."
The National League of Cities advocates for more than 1,600 cities and towns across the nation through lobbying and grassroots campaigns on Capitol Hill. It provides key communications channels to community leaders by keeping them informed on relevant issues while giving local issues a voice on the national stage. It also affords municipal leaders the opportunity to network and cooperate with one another on common problems to achieve shared solutions.
"Our finger is on the pulse of this nation," Anthony said. "The National League of Cities connects local governments with Capitol Hill, but our communications can work both ways. We hope this poll will encourage more cooperation at the federal level as we continue advocating for the critical issues affecting our communities."
These results come after a fiercely contested national election, where domestic issues like job growth, health care and immigration took precedence over international relations and defense. Local governments are closest to the people in proximity and accessibility, providing a more uncomplicated path to influence legislation while addressing specific issues that affect their constituents' daily lives.
To learn more about the National League of Cities, visit www.nlc.org.