Recent interviews of more than 2,000 Americans conducted by the Gallup Organization have found that hostility to government is concentrated in the white, small-town middle class, The Washington Post has reported.
James Hunter, a sociologist at the University of Virginia, commissioned the Gallup survey for a study called "The State of Disunion." The survey concluded that the people most mistrustful of the government tend to be:
- Activist Christian right members.
- Middle class, well-educated white people from small towns in the West and East Central states.
According to Hunter, "strong suspicions of conspiracy flourish in the West, fade as they move eastward, and perish on their trek across the Alleghenies".
- 64 percent of those interviewed believe that the "governing elite" is insensitive to the people's concerns, and 69 percent believe that they are only concerned with their own agenda.
- 81 percent of Christian right supporters think the United States is in strong or moderate decline, as opposed to 51 percent of the general population.