N.H. voters lost trust in media & government during pandemic; helping drive Biden favorability below 50%
New Hampshire voters’ trust in government and media has collapsed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, a St. Anselm College Survey Center poll conducted for the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy has found. In addition, President Joe Biden’s honeymoon with New Hampshire voters is over, as majorities now view him unfavorably and think the country is on the wrong track.
Among registered New Hampshire voters, 61% said the COVID-19 pandemic has made them less trustful of the government, and 60% said it has made them less trustful of the media. In both questions, 34% said their level of trust was unchanged.
Business, however, saw those ratios reversed. Only 22% said the pandemic has made them less trustful of business, with 69% saying their level of trust is unchanged.
“The huge collapse in trust of government and media, but not business, ought to be a five-alarm warning to government officials and journalists,” said Josiah Bartlett Center president Andrew Cline. “Trust in institutions was already low before the pandemic. It would be a mistake to maintain business as usual and see how low it can go. A serious effort to regain public trust is needed.”
Republicans and undeclared voters posted the largest drops in trust of both government and media.
Eighty-seven percent of Republicans and 65% of undeclared voters say the pandemic made them less trustful of government.
Ninety-two percent of Republicans and 63% of undeclared voters said the pandemic made them less trustful of media.
Democrats registered the smallest drops, with most saying the pandemic made no change in their trust of government (59%) or media (62%).
These trust declines accompanied a significant drop in President Joe Biden’s favorability rating in the Granite State.
Among New Hampshire voters, 52% now say they have an unfavorable opinion of President Biden, with 47% saying they have a favorable opinion.
That’s an almost exact reversal from the February St. Anselm College poll, which found that 53% had a favorable opinion of President Biden and 46% had an unfavorable opinion.
Biden won New Hampshire 53%-45.5% last November.
A solid majority of New Hampshire voters (59%) now says the country is on the wrong track, with only 31% saying it’s on the right track.
That’s up from 55% who said the country was on the wrong track in the February St. Anselm College poll.
Gov Chris Sununu fared better, with 64% saying they had a favorable opinion of him, and 34% saying they had an unfavorable opinion. That’s down four percentage points, from 68%, in the February St. Anselm College poll.
These results are from a Saint Anselm College Survey Center online poll conducted on behalf of the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy based on online surveys of 897 New Hampshire registered voters. Surveys were collected between May 26th and 28th, 2021, from cell phone users randomly drawn from a sample of registered voters reflecting the demographic and partisan characteristics of the voting population. The survey has an overall margin of sampling error of +/- 3.3% with a confidence interval of 95%. The data are weighted for age, gender, geography, and education based on a voter demographic model derived from historical voting patterns, but are not weighted by party registration or party identification.
The political party registration of poll respondents was 30% Democratic, 28% Republican, and 42% undeclared.
The Josiah Bartlett Center released a previous batch of results from this poll last week. The book of tables for the poll includes both sets of questions and can be read here: SACSurveyBook JBC May 2021.