The CNN/Opinion Corp. poll of 1,023 U.S. adults, conducted via telephone Feb. 12-15, found 74 percent of respondents said they believe George Washington lied to the public while in office, while 71 percent said the same of the 16th president, Abraham "Honest Abe" Lincoln, CNN reported Monday.
"Part of it may be the recognition that, however much we revere them today, both men were politicians, and Americans are always a little cynical about people seeking office," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said.
"Part of it may also be a realistic assessment that the president sometimes has to keep things from the public," Holland said. "But whether it's based on cynicism or realism, or a little of both, it's an indication that Americans think that our government has been broken for many, many years."
The poll, released to coincide with Washington's 278th birthday, also suggests a full three quarters of the public believe modern-day politicians are routinely dishonest.
The poll had a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points, CNN said.