Over the past 48 years, Republicans have consistently shown the highest levels of confidence in the military. But in just the past three years, Republican confidence plunged from 91 percent to 68 percent. Independents — who historically held moderate levels of confidence — now have the lowest trust, with public confidence dropping by 13 percentage points to 55 percent. Though confidence among Democrats rose after President Joe Biden took office, that gain has dissipated over the past year.
The results mark the lowest level since 1997 and the steepest decline in the past five years — mirroring a crisis of trust in several other public institutions.
The military still evokes the highest public trust among the 14 other institutions included in the poll. Five institutions stand as the least trusted, with newspapers, the criminal justice system, television news, big business, and Congress all garnering confidence from less than 20 percent of Americans. Congress, in particular, registers the lowest confidence at a mere 8 percent.