Trust Deficit Widens for Government and Big Business

The Public Affairs Council explores the intersection of business and politics — and what people think of President Trump’s tweets.

Here's what they found

Public Opinion Findings

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Major Companies and Government: Disliked and Distrusted

Only 42% of Americans trust major companies to behave ethically, down from 47% in 2017. Trust and favorability declined for businesses and government across most categories in 2018 compared to 2017.


have a very favorable opinion of major companies


have a very favorable opinion of the federal government


believe that major company CEOs have high ethical standards


believe that elected officials in Washington have high ethical standards

A tall office building

“Friends and Family” are Most Trusted Source of Political Information

With mainstream media fighting the “fake news” label, social media dealing with Russian bots, and a general distrust of information from campaigns and super PACs, the most trustworthy source of news about politics is, by far, friends and family.

How much do you trust political information from these sources?

Trump Tweets Don’t Change Minds —
and Most People Tune Them Out

When President Trump criticizes a company in a tweet, only 10% have a less favorable opinion of that company. And another 10% have a more favorable opinion.

Less favorable: ten percent; More favorable: ten percent; Doesnt change my opinion: forty one percent; Do not understand the presidents criticism: seventeen percent; Dont know or no opinion: twenty two percent

Most Americans (59%) rarely or never read Trump’s tweets and only 15% read them very often. Democrats read them more often than Republicans.

Percentage of Republicans, Democrats and Independents Who Read Trump’s Tweets at Least Somewhat Often

Republicans: forty three percent; Democrats: forty six percent; Independents: thirty five percent