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People around the world see politicians as unsympathetic to common people and unable to effect change when elected, with more than half feeling dissatisfied with the state of democracy in their country, according to a survey of 27 nations by Pew Research Center.

Expand chart
Adapted from a Pew Research chart; Percentages are medians based on 27 countries; Data: Spring 2018 Global Attitudes Survey; Chart: Axios Visuals

Why it matters: Similar sentiments have driven a global surge in populism that led to the election of Donald Trump and events like Brexit over the past few years. While responses by nation vary, people are generally more optimistic about the state of free speech, economic opportunity and public safety in their nations than they are about their politicians and elections.

Between the lines: People who said their politicians were corrupt or out of touch were consistently more likely to say they were dissatisfied with the state of democracy in their nation, according to Pew.

By the numbers:

  • Indonesia and the Philippines had the highest share of respondents out of the 27 nations surveyed who said that politicians care what ordinary people think.
  • Greeks and Israelis were some of the least likely to see politicians as caring about common people.
  • 89% of Greeks and 82% of Russians said that most politicians were corrupt in their nations, compared to less than a quarter of people from Sweden, the Netherlands and Indonesia.
  • Mexicans were the least satisfied with how democracy was working, while Filipinos and Swedes were the most satisfied.

In the U.S., more than half say that most politicians are corrupt, don't care what common people think, and that not much changes after an election. 58% say they are dissatisfied with the way democracy is working.

Go deeper

Jan. 6 panel subpoenas 2 far-right "America First" activists

The House panel investigating the Capitol riot, from left; Reps. Bennie Thompson, Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger and Jamie Raskin on Capitol Hill in December. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The House select committee investigating the Capitol riot issued subpoenas Wednesday for far-right leaders Nick Fuentes and Patrick Casey, who allegedly encouraged followers to go to D.C. and challenge the 2020 election results.

Why it matters: The action underscores the panel's increasing focus on rallies held ahead of the Capitol attack and how extremists were drawn to former President Trump's baseless claims of widespread voter fraud, per the New York Times.

Democrats fail to change Senate rules to pass voting rights bill

Senate Majority Leader during a news conference in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Democrats failed Wednesday night to change Senate filibuster rules to pass the voting rights bill, with Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) voting with Republicans.

The big picture: The failed effort came after Senate Republicans blocked the voting rights measure from coming to a final vote earlier Wednesday.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court rejects Trump's attempt to shield documents from Jan. 6 committee

Photo: Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images

The Supreme Court rejected on Wednesday night a bid by former President Trump to block the release of documents and records from his administration to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.

Why it matters: Trump asked the Supreme Court to step in and block the release of the documents last month after a panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit unanimously denied his attempt to prevent the committee from obtaining the materials.