MTSU statewide ‘trust’ survey assesses Trump, poli...

MTSU statewide ‘trust’ survey assesses Trump, politicians, institutions, TV media

A recent statewide survey of Tennesseans by MTSU’s Office of Consumer Research indicate consumers highly trust recommendations from people they know as well as other consumers, but don’t have as much confidence in information from Congress or mainstream television news media.

Dr. Tim Graeff

President Donald Trump

The current survey of 627 Tennessee consumers was conducted between June 10 and June 19 with a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

In addition to its traditional questions about consumer views on the economy and finances, the latest survey also gauged the level of trust in a number of different institutions.

“As expected, levels of trust for anything or anyone politically related vary greatly by the respondent’s political affiliation,” noted Dr. Tim Graeff, director of the Office of Consumer Research in MTSU’s Jones College of Business.

For example, while 77 percent of Republicans surveyed said they “completely trust” or “somewhat trust” President Donald Trump, only 9 percent of Democrats, 33 percent of independents and 20 percent of respondents with no political affiliation expressed such trust in the president.

The full report can be viewed here. Other report highlights:

  • President Trump and Gov. Bill Haslam enjoy relatively high levels of trust among Tennesseans. Of the institutions included on the survey, the U.S. Congress garnered the lowest level of trust.
  • Tennesseans place a higher level of trust in information from marketers (advertisements for product and brands) than they do many of the well-known media outlets and the U.S. Congress.
  • Republicans have a higher level of trust in fellow Republicans in Congress (63 percent responding either “completely trust” or “somewhat trust”) than Democrats have in fellow Democrats in Congress (54 percent responding either “completely trust” or “somewhat trust”).
  • Although there are some minor variations in responses across the three regions of the state, there is relative agreement among Tennesseans in terms of whom they trust.

For more information, contact Graeff at 615-898-5124 or or visit