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UT/TT Poll: Texans Are Leery of Government

By: Ross Ramsey, Texas Tribune
By: Ross Ramsey, Texas Tribune

Texans don't trust government very much — especially the federal government, according to the University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll conducted this month. Their least favorite branch of the federal government? Congress, by a wide margin.

Asked to choose their most trusted part of the federal government, only 10 percent listed the legislative branch and Congress. Nearly three times as many listed the executive branch and the presidency, while 34 percent listed the judicial branch and the Supreme Court.

“The branch closest to the people is the one we hate the most,” said Daron Shaw, a political science professor at UT-Austin and co-director of the poll.

His fellow pollster Jim Henson, the head of the Texas Politics Project at UT-Austin, said the Supreme Court’s decision upholding the federal health care law was disconcerting to Republicans, but said there’s a reason that’s still the most trusted branch.

“There’s nowhere else for conservatives in the state to go right now. They don’t trust the executive branch because they don’t trust [President] Obama. Congress has just been infected with negative attitudes. Even with the health care case coming out of the Supreme Court in a way that disappointed conservatives, the court is still seen as the backstop for conservative policy.

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