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New JHU Survey: Americans Don't Know Much About State Government

Dr. Jennifer Bachner (Director, Government Analytics) and Dr. Benjamin Ginsberg (Professor of Political Science) have recently conducted a survey to examine what Americans know and think about their state governments.  

Americans trust their state governments to handle issues as important as education and health care and pay them more than a trillion dollars in taxes annually, yet we know very little about these institutions, a new Johns Hopkins University survey finds.

Almost half of those surveyed couldn’t say what their state spent the most on; even fewer knew which state issues were most controversial. Fewer than 20 percent could name their state legislators. A third couldn’t even name their governor.

'Most people say they like their state leaders, and a large majority even remembers learning about state government in school,' said Johns Hopkins University political scientist Jennifer Bachner, a senior lecturer and one of the researchers. 'Despite this, most people are not aware of who exactly represents them and the significant decisions made by their state government.'

Read more about the findings in the complete press release here.

You can also read an interview with Jennifer Bachner about the survey on Route Fifty.

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