Monmouth Poll: Americans believe in (and are worried about) the “Deep State”

By The Staff

WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. — Americans are deeply divided along partisan lines in the age of Obama and Trump, but a significant majority of the country, cross-cutting these partisan fault lines, does agree on one point: 

The so-called “deep state” is both real and a serious problem.

According to a new survey from the Monmouth University Poll, 53% of Americans are worried about U.S. government monitoring activities; 57% of independents, 51% of Republicans, and 50% of Democrats share these privacy concerns. Only 22% of Americans expressed no concern whatsoever. Approximately 80% believe our government actively spies on its citizens. Pnly 18% say the spying is usually justified.

More generally, 74% believe in the existence of a “Deep State” once the term is defined for them. Only 21% are unsure or rule out the deep state’s existence altogether. 60% specifically assert that unelected government officials exercise too much influence in federal policy. Just 26% say the current balance between elected and unelected power brokers is appropriate. 

“This is a worrisome finding. The strength of our government relies on public faith in protecting our freedoms, which is not particularly robust. And it’s not a Democratic or Republican issue. These concerns span the political spectrum,” opined Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

The poll’s release comes as a new round of infighting at the Department of Justice erupts into the open following the sacking of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

Still, concern over democracy’s health in this country seems to supersede concerns over the White House’s current occupant. 

“We usually expect opinions on the operation of government to shift depending on which party is in charge. But there’s an ominous feeling by Democrats and Republicans alike that a ‘Deep State’ of unelected operatives are pulling the levers of power,” added Murray.