A new poll found that although there are close to 2,000 think tanks in the United States, only one in two Americans (50%) actually knows what a think tank is, and only 46% know what a think tank does.
The poll found that of those who do know about think tanks, only 36 percent think that they do positive work, whereas 73 percent of policy insiders think they do positive work. The poll found that only one-fifth (20%) of Americans trust think tanks, while 56 percent don't know whether to trust them or not.
The poll of adults aged 18+ was conducted by We are Flint, a UK-based communications firm whose clients have included at least one think tank (Stimson Center). It should be noted that this was an online poll, which are not known to be very accurate. Nevertheless, it is one of the few polls that has been conducted about think tanks in recent memory.
A link to the think tank poll can be found here.