(NPR) — As Americans prepare to celebrate the country’s 241st birthday, they believe the overall tone and level of civility between Democrats and Republicans in the nation’s capital has gotten worse since the election of President Trump last year, a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll finds. The same survey also shows distrust of many of the nation’s fundamental democratic institutions amongst the public.
Seven in 10 Americans say the level of civility in Washington has gotten worse since President Trump was elected, while just 6 percent say the overall tone has improved. Twenty percent say it’s stayed the same. For comparison, 35 percent in 2009 said civility in the country had declined in the U.S. following President Obama’s election, per a Gallup survey. Eight years ago, 21 percent of Americans in that poll thought civility and the tone of discourse in the country had improved.
There’s also little difference in Americans’ views on civility and the level of discourse across partisan lines. Just over eight in 10 Democrats say it’s gotten worse since Trump was elected, while 70 percent of independents say the same thing. Sixty-five percent of Republicans say civility between the GOP and Democrats has declined since November, with just 12 percent saying it has improved.