A new national survey from the Pew Research Center captures Americans’ views of institutions.

Most Americans agree that small businesses have a positive effect on the country (86%). This is also the case for the U.S. military, with over half of Americans (60%) sharing a favorable opinion. On the other hand, large corporations (68%), banks and other financial institutions (60%) are largely viewed negatively. 

Along party lines, Democrats and Republicans share the same attitude towards banks, with 38% viewing them positively. They also share “similarly negative opinions of large corporations,” with only 26% of Democrats and 32% of Republicans seeing a positive impact on the country.

U.S. adults are divided (53%, positive; 45%, negative) on the impact of colleges and universities and K-12 public schools (53%, positive; 45%, negative). The survey also found this to be the case along party lines for these educational institutions.

The partisan divide among Americans is also true for labor unions (55%, positive; 41%, negative) and technology companies (53%, positive; 44%, negative). Thirty-five percent of Republican/Republican-leaning respondents have a favorable view of labor unions compared to 75% of Democrat/Democrat-leaning respondents.

Churches and religious organizations are viewed more positively (59%) when compared to a 2022 survey (53%). Most Protestants (73%) and Catholics (67%) view the church positively. The religiously affiliated, who identify as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular,” are far less likely to see it the same way (33%, positive; 64%, negative).

“A majority of conservative and moderate Democrats (58%) have a positive impression of the impact of churches, compared with just 31% of liberal Democrats,” the survey found. “Differences are more modest among Republicans: 78% of conservative Republicans say churches and religious organizations have a positive impact, as do 63% of moderate and liberal Republicans.”

For the survey’s methodology and the complete report, click here

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