- Republican confidence in big business remains at record high since 2021 decline
- Low confidence among Democrats and independents hasn’t changed
- GOP confidence in Big Tech still negative, but slightly improved
WASHINGTON, DC – After nearly half a century in which Republicans routinely viewed big business in a more positive than negative light, their view became more skeptical about it in 2021 and will remain so in 2023.
A record 18% of Republicans now say they have “a lot” or “a lot” of trust in big business, while nearly twice as many – 35% – say they have “very little” or no trust in big business. . he. 45% of them offer moderate support, expressing “some” confidence.
These ratings represent a slight deterioration in Republicans’ views of big business since last year, but are roughly in line with those seen in 2021.
From 1973 to 2020, an average of 33% of Republicans reported high trust in big business, compared to 21% low trust, for a net trust score of +12 during this overall period. This compares to -18 net trust in 2021, -9 in 2022, and -17 net trust today.
Before 2021, the only other years in which Republican ratings of big business were clearly negative were 1981 (-11) and 2009 (-12), in the midst of two of the worst recessions the United States has seen since Gallup began to monitor Americans’ confidence in institutions. 1973.
Drop in GOP esteem for big business in line with decline of military
The recent high point of Republicans’ trust in big business occurred in 2018, when 39% had a lot or some trust in them, and only 16% had little or no trust. Since then, the percentage of Republicans confident in big business has fallen 21 percentage points, one of the highest among all institutions in that party group. The military saw a comparable 22-point decline in its high ratings with Republicans, while the police, public schools and banks all suffered 15-point declines.
The only institution in which Republican confidence has declined more than that of the military and big business over the past five years is the presidency, but that is explained by the passage of a Republican president (Donald Trump) in 2018 to a Democratic president (Joe Biden). .
Gallup measures public trust in big business as part of its broader poll on trust in institutions. The 2023 update, carried out from June 1 to 22, revealed big business tied with television news for second-lowest ranked institution, before only Congress. Overall, 14% of Americans today express a great deal or a fair amount of confidence in large businesses, tying 2022’s all-time low.
Trust in big business is lacking among all partisan groups
Although Republicans’ net trust in big business is now negative, at -17, the rating is even lower among other party groups, including -33 among independents and -32 among Democrats.
Current net trust ratings for big business among Independents and Democrats are below their long-term averages of -13 and -15, respectively. However, unlike Republicans, the largest declines in these party groups’ ratings occurred about two decades ago, between 1998 and 2008. Since then, net trust in big business has remained low in both groups .
Meanwhile, Republican skepticism of big tech eases slightly
Republicans are also more skeptical than not of big tech companies, with 37% now saying they have little or no confidence in them, compared to 22% having a lot or a lot of confidence. However, these ratings are slightly better than those recorded by Gallup in 2021, after Republicans’ negative views of big tech skyrocketed from the initial 2020 reading, reflecting their sourness toward big companies in same time.
Republicans’ opinion of big tech companies had already improved slightly last year, and it remains about the same level today.
During the same period, Democrats’ net confidence in big tech companies moved from positive to neutral, without any rebound, while independents’ confidence remained stable at a neutral level.
Large corporations historically rank among the least respected U.S. institutions on Gallup’s Trust in Institutions list. But the higher ratings he generally receives from Republicans compared to independents and Democrats have at least kept his trust score away from single digits. However, as Republicans have become more skeptical of big business since 2020, national trust in them is now hovering precariously close to that unenviable level, hitherto achieved only by Congress.
Gallup did not explore the specific reasons for Republicans’ new distrust of corporate America. However, the timeline – with the initial shift occurring between mid-2020 and mid-2021 – spans several events that could be pivotal: COVID-19 vaccination trade policies, widespread business support to racial justice initiatives following the death of George Floyd. , and decisions by some social media platforms in January 2021 to block then-President Donald Trump over his claims about the 2020 election. To the extent that Republican concerns over either while other issues have subsided, more recent battles between some Republican leaders and businesses over LGBTQ+ issues may partly explain why Republican skepticism toward big business persists, as does inflation.
Meanwhile, after initially reflecting the decline in Republican confidence in big business, Republican confidence in big tech companies per se has partially rebounded. It’s unclear whether this comes from the reinstatement of Trump’s accounts on some social media platforms, a broader perception of the tech industry in the context of new advances in AI, or something else.
To stay informed with the latest information and updates from Gallup News, Follow us on twitter.
Learn more about how the Gallup Social Polling Series works.