The survey, commissioned by Mike Donaovan’s Not Free America, argued that Americans’ distrust in the federal government has been amplified amid the COVID-19 novel coronavirus pandemic, protests for equality and police reform, the growth of social media and the 2020 presidential election.
“From corruption to cover-ups, we looked at distrust in government by analyzing more than 1,700 terms and keywords related to government distrust in every state via Google search trends data,” the release read.
A total of 2,024 self-reporting Americans were surveyed in the study, conducted from October 5 to October 7. An estimated 47% were male, and 53% were female. Republicans made up 32% of respondents, while Democrats and independents accounted for 40% and 22%, respectively.
The survey found that people in states more likely to favor Democrats were also likely to search for the keywords “Trump lies.” On the other hand, those in states that leaned more to the right of the political spectrum were more likely to search for “Deep State,” or a similar variation.
Furthermore, “Deep State” stood out as the most common search term in 15 states.
This could be related to the growth of QAnon, the far-right conspiracy theory movement rooted in the belief that US President Donald Trump is the chosen one to combat Satan-worshiping pedophiles running a global child sex-trafficking ring.
At the same time, the analysis highlighted that state residents were also likely to search for lies spewed from their own elected officials.
“For example, ‘Bernie Sanders corrupt’ was the most searched term in Vermont, which is the state that [Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)] represents,” the release read. “The same can be said for Illinois (‘JB Pritzker corrupt’), Georgia (‘Brian Kemp corrupt’), Colorado (‘Cory Gardner lies’), South Carolina (‘Lindsey Graham lies’)” and other states.
When it comes to the pandemic, more than 67% of respondents detailed that they rely on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for COVID-19 updates and information. Additionally, some 56% of those surveyed were found to have “very little” or “no trust” at all in the federal government for pandemic guidance.
“However, there appears to be more trust in in-person voting rather than mail-in ballots, with 75% saying they trust their in-person ballot will be counted fairly and accurately compared to 63% feeling the same about mail-in ballots,” the release detailed.
“In terms of political affiliation, independents expressed the most concern with this year’s election process, as 43% say they do not have trust and confidence in the process, along with 34% of Democrats and 20% of Republicans.”