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Americans Don’t Necessarily Believe Government Statistics (Especially Republicans)

Partisanship determines how people see CBO and government output on government statistics, including the jobless rate and even the Census according a new survey by YouGov. U.S. citizens pick and choose what they believe. Republicans are generally more skeptical of the government. Democrats and Republicans, to be sure, have similar reactions on other government stats.

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A majority of Democrats believe most government statistics are reliable, but less than half of Republicans think so; 42% of Republicans, on the other hand, believe few or no statistics provided by government.

For instance, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that 24 million would lose health insurance under the Republican plan. Neither Democrats nor Republicans believed the government numbers, as 46% of Democrats believed more people will lose health insurance and 46% of Republicans believed fewer people will lose health insurance.

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Both parties believe the Census Bureau undercounted how many U.S. in 2010, and many doubt numbers reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, suggesting the agency under-reports the true numbers.
Many Republicans believe the crime rate has increased over the last twenty years. The government says they have decreased.

Republicans and Democrats are both likely to believe government statistics when it comes to warming global temperatures — pluralities in both parties say the NASA and NOAA reports are correct.

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However, while three in four Democrats say human activity is the cause, only 29% of Republicans believe this so.

Not much has changed since YouGov did the same survey in January 2015, when 45 percent of Democrats and 19 percent of Republicans saw all or most public statistics as reliable and accurate.

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The data is similar to a trend detected by a Marketplace-Edison Research Poll released last fall in which more than 4 and 10 Americans were found to somewhat or completely distrust the federal government economic data.

Nearly half of Americans, and a supermajority of Trump voters, don’t believe unemployment rates, inflation numbers, household spending figures, health insurance coverage rates, gross domestic product growth and other stats.

Image: Shutterstock

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