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Americans Trust Nurses, Teachers, Military Officers but Not Lobbyists or Politicians

smiling nurse
Monkey Business

Gallup just released the results of its annual survey investigating Americans’ opinions on the trustworthiness of certain professions. In one notable surprise, members of the clergy saw their favorable rating drop below 50 percent for the first time. 

Once again, nurses topped the list, with 82 percent saying they have a high or very high view of nurses’ honesty and ethical standards. Medical doctors and pharmacists also rate highly, showing Americans have a generally high level of respect for the “healing” professions.

The bottom chunk of the list has many of the usual suspects. It appears that Americans’ longtime negative views of politicians, lobbyists, car salespeople, lawyers and reporters remained quite steady in 2013.

The number of Americans rating members of the clergy highly came in at just 47 percent. In 1977, when Gallup first asked about the clergy, Americans rated them at 60 percent favorable, a rating that increased until peaking at 67 percent in 1985. This is the first year that members of the clergy were not rated favorably by a majority of respondents.

Gallup also released data on how Republicans’ and Democrats’ views diverged depending on the profession. The largest difference in opinion was how Republicans viewed police officers (64 percent favorable) versus Democrats (40 percent). In the other direction, Democrats rated judges (51 percent favorable) much more highly than Republicans (41 percent).

Whether favorable or unfavorable, all Americans shared similar views (within 2 percentage points) on bankers, car salespeople, auto mechanics, state officeholders and daycare providers.


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