According to Gallup polling, American confidence in each branch of the federal government rose from 2015 to 2016.

Yes, seriously.

Perhaps it’s because the current government looks good compared to two presidential candidates that are each viewed unfavorably by a majority of Americans. The poll’s timing, just before and during the 15th anniversary of Sept. 11, may also reflect a wave of patriotic nostalgia survey respondents may have had (though the poll was also conducted over Sept. 11 last year).

According to the poll, conducted from Sept. 7-11, 61 percent of Americans have a “great deal” or “fair amount” of trust and confidence in the judiciary, 51 percent in the executive branch, and 35 percent in Congress.

The portion of Americans with confidence in the judicial branch rose by 8 percentage points, in the executive branch by 6 points and in the legislative branch by 3 points.

However, confidence in each branch is still below the average amount seen from 1997 to 2016.

The rising confidence in the executive branch was largely driven by an increase among Democrats: 84 percent have trust and confidence in the executive branch, up from 77 percent in 2016. About 18 percent of Republicans have confidence in the executive branch, up from 16 percent in 2016.

GOP confidence in Congress rose by 5 percentage points, while Democratic confidence rose by 6 percentage points. It’s surprising that Democratic confidence rose at all, let alone by more than GOP confidence, since Republicans control both chambers of Congress.

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The poll also showed that more Americans are more confident in the government’s ability to handle domestic and international problems, though less than half say they have a great deal or fair amount of confidence in the federal government to handle those problems.

Jason Russell is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.

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