American Red Cross, Nature Conservancy, Consumers Union and AARP are Organizations Inside the Beltway Most Trusted by Public

    NEW YORK , N.Y. – January 17, 2012 – Among all adults who are familiar with them, the American Red Cross, the Consumers Union, the Nature Conservancy, American Public Transportation Association and AARP are seen as the most trusted among 12 large organizations that have considerable influence on public policy, business and are frequently reported on in the media. Conversely, the AFL-CIO, PhRMA, the NRA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are perceived to be the least trusted. Those organizations that are seen as being the most powerful are the AFL-CIO, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, PhRMA, the National Association of Manufacturers, and the NRA.

    These are some of the results of The Harris Poll®, a new nationwide survey of 2,237 U.S. adults surveyed online between December 5 and 12, 2011 by Harris Interactive®.

    Familiarity

    The first question asked the public how familiar they are with these 12 organizations. The organizations that are familiar to the largest number of people are:

    • American Red Cross 93%
    • AARP 85%
    • National Rifle Association (NRA) 83%
    • U.S. Chamber of Commerce 72%

    The organizations on the list that the fewest people are familiar with are:

    • National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) 17%
    • American Public Transportation Association (APTA) 19%
    • PhRMA (Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers

    of America) 19%

    • Consumers Union 22%
    • The Nature Conservancy 37%

    Trust

    Among those who are familiar with them the most trusted organizations (based on those who trust them a great deal or a fair amount) are:

    • American Red Cross 85%
    • Consumers Union 81%
    • The Nature Conservancy 80%
    • American Public Transportation Association (APTA) 72%
    • AARP 72%

    The least trusted organizations on the list are (also based on those who trust them a great deal or a fair amount:

    • AFL-CIO 45%
    • PhRMA 47%
    • NRA 57%

    Power in Washington

    The organizations listed that are believed to have the most power, based on the number of people familiar with them who think each organization has a great deal or a fair amount of power are:

    • AFL-CIO 86%
    • U.S. Chamber of Commerce 84%
    • PhRMA 84%
    • Nat’l Association of Manufacturers (NAM) 80%
    • NRA 80%

    The organizations thought to have the least power are:

    • The Nature Conservancy 48%
    • Sierra Club 57%
    • Consumers Union 59%
    • American Red Cross 60%

    So What?

    The Harris Poll began measuring public perceptions of these organizations in 2005 and the results have generally been that those with the least power are most trusted while those with the most power are least trusted. For example, the American Red Cross, Consumers Union and the Nature Conservancy receive very high marks for being trusted; however, at the same time they are seen as having less power. However, by their sheer size and scope of work they are still able to work around their lack of power.

    Groups such as the AFL-CIO, PhRMA and the NRA are the least trusted. Nonetheless they are thought to have lots of power. These groups have risen to power status by the sheer fact they survive on controversy and their ability to play politics very well.

     

    TABLE 1

    FAMILIARITYWITH ORGANIZATION – TREND

    Please indicate your familiarity with the following organizations

    (Percentage who say they are familiar)

    Base: All Adults

     

    2005

    2006

    2007

    2008

    2009

    2011

    Change from 2009 to 2011

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    American Red Cross

    N/A

    96

    96

    93

    92

    93

    +1

    AARP

    89

    88

    85

    85

    82

    85

    +3

    NRA (National Rifle Association)

    90

    87

    83

    79

    80

    83

    +3

    U.S. Chamber of Commerce

    76

    78

    79

    70

    66

    72

    +6

    AFL-CIO

    75

    67

    65

    59

    58

    59

    +1

    National Education Association (NEA)

    N/A

    N/A

    N/A

    51

    53

    54

    +1

    Sierra Club

    64

    54

    56

    49

    51

    49

    -2

    The Nature Conservancy

    47

    40

    41

    37

    38

    37

    -1

    Consumers Union

    N/A

    N/A

    N/A

    N/A

    N/A

    22

    N/A

    PhRMA (Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America)

    N/A

    N/A

    N/A

    19

    29

    19

    -10

    National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)

    N/A

    N/A

    N/A

    17

    21

    17

    -4

    American Public Transportation Association (APTA)

    N/A

    N/A

    N/A

    19

    19

    19

    0

    Note: N/A indicates organization not asked about in that year


     

    TABLE 2

    TRUST IN ORGANIZATIONS

    How much do you trust these organizations?

    Base: Adults Familiar with Organizations (Variable Base)

     

     

    A Great Deal/A Fair Amount

    (NET)

    A Great Deal

    A Fair Amount

    Not Very

    Much

    Not

    At All

    American Red Cross

    %

    85

    39

    46

    11

    3

    Consumers Union

    %

    81

    26

    55

    16

    3

    The Nature Conservancy

    %

    80

    26

    55

    16

    4

    American Public Transportation Association (APTA)

    %

    72

    15

    57

    21

    7

    AARP

    %

    72

    23

    49

    18

    10

    National Education Association (NEA)

    %

    64

    17

    47

    21

    15

    Sierra Club

    %

    63

    16

    47

    23

    14

    National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)

    %

    61

    9

    53

    30

    9

    U.S. Chamber of Commerce

    %

    60

    11

    49

    29

    11

    NRA (National Rifle Association)

    %

    57

    20

    37

    24

    19

    PhRMA (Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America)

    %

    47

    11

    37

    31

    22

    AFL-CIO

    %

    45

    9

    35

    34

    22

    Note: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100% because of rounding

     

    TABLE 3

    TRUSTIN ORGANIZATIONS – TREND

    How much do you trust these organizations?

    (Percentage trust a great deal or fair amount)

    Base: Adults Familiar with Organization (Variable Base)

     

    2005

    2006

    2007

    2008

    2009

    2011

    Change from

    2009 to 2011

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    American Red Cross

    N/A

    84

    86

    88

    86

    85

    -1

    Consumers Union

    N/A

    N/A

    N/A

    N/A

    N/A

    81

    N/A

    The Nature Conservancy

    79

    80

    83

    82

    76

    80

    +4

    American Public Transportation Association (APTA)

    N/A

    N/A

    N/A

    73

    61

    72

    +11

    AARP

    77

    84

    83

    82

    70

    72

    +2

    National Education Association (NEA)

    N/A

    N/A

    N/A

    67

    62

    64

    +2

    Sierra Club

    59

    65

    68

    66

    60

    63

    +3

    National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)

    N/A

    N/A

    N/A

    67

    62

    61

    -1

    U.S. Chamber of Commerce

    70

    77

    73

    72

    66

    60

    -6

    NRA

    48

    54

    52

    56

    56

    57

    +1

    PhRMA (Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America)

    N/A

    N/A

    N/A

    58

    37

    47

    +10

    AFL-CIO

    41

    51

    52

    47

    38

    45

    +7

    Note: N/A indicates organization not asked about in that year


     

    TABLE 4

    HOW MUCH POWER ORGANIZATIONS ARE THOUGHT TO HAVE IN WASHINGTON

    How much power within Washington, DC do you believe these organizations have?

    Base: Adults Familiar with Organizations (Variable Base)

     

     

    A Great Deal/A Fair Amount

    (NET)

    A Great Deal

    A Fair Amount

    Not Very Much

    None

    At All

    AFL-CIO

    %

    86

    45

    40

    13

    1

    U.S. Chamber of Commerce

    %

    84

    35

    50

    14

    2

    PhRMA (Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America)

    %

    84

    48

    36

    14

    2

    National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)

    %

    80

    25

    55

    17

    3

    NRA (National Rifle Association)

    %

    80

    40

    40

    17

    3

    National Education Association (NEA)

    %

    75

    32

    43

    23

    2

    AARP

    %

    74

    30

    43

    22

    4

    American Public Transportation Association (APTA)

    %

    67

    18

    49

    28

    5

    American Red Cross

    %

    60

    15

    44

    35

    6

    Consumers Union

    %

    59

    14

    44

    35

    6

    Sierra Club

    %

    57

    14

    43

    38

    4

    The Nature Conservancy

    %

    48

    10

    38

    47

    5

    Note: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100% because of rounding

     

    TABLE 5

    PERCEIVED POWER IN WASHINGTON – TREND

    How much power within Washington, DC do you believe these organizations have?

    (Percentage have power a great deal or fair amount)

    Base: Adults Familiar with Organization (Variable Base)

     

    2008

    2009

    2011

    Change from 2009 to 2011

    %

    %

    %

    AFL-CIO

    87

    90

    86

    -4

    U.S. Chamber of Commerce

    80

    77

    84

    +7

    PhRMA (Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America)

    82

    85

    84

    -1

    National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)

    80

    74

    80

    +6

    NRA (National Rifle Association)

    79

    80

    80

    0

    National Education Association (NEA)

    74

    79

    75

    -4

    AARP

    73

    80

    74

    -6

    American Public Transportation Association (APTA)

    70

    74

    67

    -7

    American Red Cross

    62

    59

    60

    +1

    Consumers Union

    N/A

    N/A

    59

    N/A

    Sierra Club

    58

    59

    57

    -2

    The Nature Conservancy

    51

    48

    48

    0

    Note: N/A indicates organization not asked about in that year

     

    Methodology

    This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between December 5 and 12, 2011 among 2,237 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

    All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words margin of error as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

    Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

    These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

     

    The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of Harris Interactive.

    J40990

    Q751, 756, 761

     

     

    The Harris Poll ® #6, January 17, 2012

    By David Krane, VP Research, Harris Interactive

    About Harris Interactive

    Harris Interactive is one of the world’s leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through our North American and European offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us – and our clients – stay ahead of what’s next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.