WASHINGTON (CNN) – Do Americans support more taxpayer money for the ailing U.S auto makers?
The answer appears to be no. Sixty-one percent of Americans questioned in CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll conducted last month say they're opposed to more government assistance for the big Detroit auto companies, with 37 percent in favor of taxpayer help. And only one in four were confident that auto executives would make the right economic decisions to help the country escape from the recession. In a Gallup poll conducted around the same time, seven in ten people opposed an auto bailout.
"Americans tend to favor government assistance to individuals, such as homeowners in danger of foreclosure," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "But they don't like the idea of federal money going to big institutions, like automakers or banks."
General Motors has already received more than $13 billion in federal assistance and Chrysler $4 billion. Last month GM asked for $16 billion more in taxpayer assistance and Chrysler requested $5 billion.
A CNN/ORC national poll conducted earlier this month suggests that Americans are split on how President Obama's addressing the crisis in the nation's auto industry. While the President's overall approval rating stood at 64 percent in the survey, only 46 percent favored Obama's handling of the problems facing the auto companies. Forty-nine percent disapproved of how the President is dealing with the Detroit auto makers.
"Obama's policies toward banks and auto companies are the only areas on which he does not get majority approval," Holland notes. "On the other hand, the public has much more confidence that the Obama administration than in auto executives when it comes to making the right economic decisions."
The most recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation polls were conducted February 18-19 and March 12-15.