(CNN) – Four decades after President Richard Nixon resigned, a slight majority of Americans still consider Watergate a very serious matter, a new national survey shows. But how serious depends on when you were born.
The CNN/ORC International poll's release
comes one day before the 40th anniversary of Nixon's resignation on
August 9, 1974. With the Watergate scandal escalating, the second-term
Republican president had lost much of his political backing, and he
faced almost certain impeachment and the prospects of being removed from
office by a Democratic-dominated House and Senate.
There's a big generational divide over the significance of the
scandal, with a majority of those older than 40 describing Watergate as a
very serious problem and those under 40 saying it was just politics.
The poll also indicates that the public's trust in government is at an all-time low.
Just 13% of Americans say the government can be trusted to do what is
right always or most of the time, with just over three-quarters saying
only some of the time and one in 10 saying they never trust the
government, according to the poll.
"The number who trust the government all or most of the time has sunk
so low that it is hard to remember that there was ever a time when
Americans routinely trusted the government," CNN Polling Director
Keating Holland said.