How would you feel about the elected officials running the United States of America if you did not have the ability to vote? Would you still feel entitled to get angry? Would you trust them? Would it differ from the opinions of those who actually did cast their votes for these officials?
This is what we sought to uncover by asking America’s youngest generation, Gen Z, also known as iGen, about their trust for the elected officials currently leading the U.S., including the president, vice president, and Congress.
Our study revealed that, regardless of generation, trust is not very high for these elected officials. In fact, even though Millennials reported the highest levels of trust, only 27% of them say that they trust the elected officials currently leading our country.
Interestingly, our study found that though members of iGen for the most part cannot vote yet, they have a much higher level of trust than either Gen X or Boomers, and only slightly lower than Millennials.
As for the study’s previous finding about the importance of voting, there could be a possible connection between viewing voting as important and trust for elected officials. If there is not much trust, will there still be importance placed on the act of voting? As iGen matures and enters the voting age bracket en masse, this possible connection will become ripe for exploration.
It also remains to be seen with both Millennials and iGen whether their continual progression into adulthood will affect their levels of trust in current elected officials. This is a moving target, of course, since elected officials change and we are approaching a new congressional term and a new administration in the White House. But it still begs the question as to whether Millennials’ and iGen’s more positive assessment of officials is a result of youthful idealism (some might even call it naivety) or whether it is tied to these specific elected individuals.
Read all the surprising findings from our national study on iGen and politics here.