(CNN) – Three-quarters of all Americans think that the federal government should let General Motors or Chrysler go bankrupt rather than pumping more money into the struggling automakers, according to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll - and most now say that the economy would not face major problems if those companies went into bankruptcy.
The public used to think that the automakers were too big to fail, but not any longer. In December, two-thirds say auto bankruptcies would create major problems or a crisis for the U.S. economy. Now most say that would only cause minor problems or no problems at all.
And Americans don't see any effect on their own lives if the automakers fail: 55 percent say they would face no problems at all if the auto companies went bankrupt. Only 37 percent say they would buy a car from a bankrupt company. But that number rises to 57 percent if the federal government stands behind the warranty on those cars.
The survey includes telephone interviews with 1,023 adult Americans. It was conducted April 3-5, 2009, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
(Full results after the jump)
Should the government let auto companies go bankrupt?
Yes: 76 percent
No 22 percent
What would the effect on the U.S. economy be if auto companies go bankrupt?
Crisis: 10 percent
Major problems: 37 percent
Minor problems: 44 percent
No problems at all: 9 percent
Would there be a crisis or major problems for the U.S. economy if automakers go bankrupt?
Now: 47 percent say yes, 53 percent say no
In December: 66 percent said yes, 33 percent said no
What would the effect on you personally be if auto companies go bankrupt?
Crisis: 3 percent
Major problems: 11 percent
Minor problems: 30 percent
No problems at all: 55 percent
How do you feel about increased government involvement in the way businesses are run?
Gone too far: 35 percent
About right: 42 percent
Not far enough: 23 percent
(Sampling error on the following two questions: plus or minus 4.5 percentage points)
Would you buy a new car from an auto company in bankruptcy?
Yes: 37 percent
No: 63 percent
Would you buy a new car from an auto company in bankruptcy if the government stands behind the warranty?
Yes: 57 percent
No: 42 percent