Political Science, Department of


Date of this Version



DOI: 10.1111/lsq.12402


Open access.


Trust is a key part of any political system. Given the very different experiences of Black people and White people in the United States, it is likely that the nature and contours of political trust varies widely from one racial group to the other. In this article, we take advantage of a specially commissioned 2018 survey to compare Black and White trust in American legislative institutions (Congress and the state legislatures). Thanks to an oversample, we also are able to zero in on variations across Black respondents, making it possible to identify the variables that push legislative trust up or down within that demographic. Our findings indicate that, relative to Whites, Black individuals are significantly more trusting of Congress and that Black people who go to church tend to be more trusting of legislative institutions while those who have experienced racism in their lives are less trusting.