Mark Tapscott of the Washington Examiner has perused plunging poll numbers for all three branches of the federal government and wonders whether they will lead to long-term damage.

[W]hile Congress clearly has the lowest confidence level among the three branches of the federal government, the Gallup poll’s annual confidence in institutions survey makes clear that the American public is simply losing confidence in Washington, period.

Justin McCarthy notes on Gallup this morning that the Supreme Court’s 30 percent rating and the seven percent rating for Congress are the lowest-ever public confidence numbers for those two branches.

But at 29 percent, Obama’s sixth year in the Oval Office displays his lowest-ever rating as the nation’s chief executive.

Interestingly enough, a clear majority, 57 percent, of Americans believe “religion can answer all, or most, of today’s problems.”

“While Americans clearly have the lowest amount of confidence in the legislative branch, ratings for all three are down and are at or near their lowest points to date. At this point, Americans place much greater faith in the military and the police than in any of the three branches of government,” McCarthy said. …

… At what then does the failure of Washington to command public confidence transition from being a perennial worry to a profoundly serious problem?