How Republicans and Democrats see various government agencies Skip to content

How Republicans and Democrats see various government agencies

One party believes government can actually work; the other doesn’t. That belief shows up in these numbers.

2 min read

From Pew Research and the Visual Capitalist

Forget the presidential race, the partisan divide in America can also be seen by how Democrats and Republicans feel about key government agencies.

We visualize the net favorability ratings of 16 federal government agencies, based on respondent party affiliation.

To find this data, Pew Research Center surveyed more than 10,000 adults, between March 13-19, 2023. View their methodology page for more details about the survey, the questions asked, and the results obtained.

ℹ️ Example calculation: This survey shows net favorability. As an example of how the score is calculated, 80% of the Democrats rated the CDC “favorable” and 15% rated it “unfavorable.” Therefore, CDC’s net favorability rating with Democrats is 65.

Republicans Don’t Like How the CDC Handled the Pandemic

The division in net favorability is deepest for three federal government agencies. While the CDCgarnered a net favorability rating of 65 from Democrats, more Republicans rated the agency unfavorably, leading to a net favorability rating of -32.

Similarly, with the EPA and the Department of Education, the difference in net favorability between the two voting sides is as high as 70–80 points.

Pew Research Center notes that Republicans didn’t always view the CDC quite so unfavorably, though a direct comparison is impossible.

Nevertheless, per the source, in March 2020, 84% of surveyed Republicans expressed positive views of the CDC’s performance. By October 2022, just 32% said the CDC had done an excellent or good job of handling the pandemic.

Meanwhile, there are a few agencies the two sides do agree on: the National Park Service, the Postal Service, and NASA.

And they both agree on Veterans Affairs as well: though neither share a particularly high opinion of the organization.

Finally, Democrats consistently rate all sixteen agencies on the survey more favorably than Republicans, showing consistency about how each side views the government in general.

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Pew Research Center

We are a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about issues, attitudes, and trends shaping the world, using polling, demographic research, and other tools. We do not take policy positions.

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