Voters across the country have far more confidence in state lawmakers protecting their individual rights as opposed to the federal government, a new State Policy Network poll finds.

By a 2-to-1 margin (33% to 16%), voters indicated they believe state governments do a better job of upholding their rights, with another 62% of them adding that they also feel they can be at least somewhat trusted, compared to 46% of respondents who said the same about lawmakers in Washington.

Overall, the SPN State Voices opinion poll of roughly 2,041 registered voters conducted in partnership with Morning Consult over a three-day period found that 54% of voters also give the federal government an unsatisfactory mark when it comes to its handling of taxpayer dollars, compared to just 36% of interviewees who see state governments in the same light.

SPN messaging strategist Erin Norman isn’t surprised by the findings.

“Voters have long trusted more local levels of government more than the federal government – the pattern goes back to the 1970s,” she told The Center Square. “It typically has to do with voters seeing state and local government as more effective at getting things done. They also see a lack of leadership at the federal level that diminishes confidence.”

With less than three in 10 voters (27%) agreeing that the federal government is effective at getting things done, Norman argues the need for change is apparent.

“The federal government really needs to learn how to work together, across party lines, and find solutions to the problems facing Americans today,” she said. “The hyper-polarized nature of national politics today gives voters the impression that everything happening in Washington is a political fight, which doesn’t make them feel as if their challenges and concerns are being taken seriously.”

By contrast, four in 10 say state governments are effective at getting things done. The poll had a margin of error of 2%.

This article was originally published on and is republished with permission.

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