April 20th, 2010
12:00 PM ET
13 years ago

Poll: Public backs giving Washington more power to regulate Wall Street

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/20/art.wallstreet5.gi.jpg caption ="A new Gallup poll released Tuesday indicates that 50 percent of Americans support a proposal to give the government new powers to regulate Wall Street banks and other financial institutions."]Washington (CNN) - Americans appear to support a proposal to give the government new powers to regulate Wall Street banks and other financial institutions, according to a new national poll.

A Gallup survey released Tuesday indicates that 50 percent of the public supports the move, with 36 percent opposed and 15 percent unsure.

The new powers to regulate large banks and financial institutions are included in a bill backed by Senate Democrats that would create a new process to shut down failing firms and require banks to beef up capital cushions, while creating a new consumer regulator to watch over mortgages and credit cards. Senate Republicans are opposed to the legislation.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll conducted in March found that just over half of all Americans favored greater government regulation over Wall Street, with 43 percent opposed.

The Gallup poll indicates that support rises when "Wall Street" is specified as the target of new regulations. When a similar question asks about new regulations of "large banks and major financial institutions" without any mention of Wall Street, 46 percent favor new regulations and 43 percent oppose them.

The Gallup survey suggests a strong partisan divide. More than seven in ten Democrats support giving the federal government more power to regulate large banks and financial institutions, but seven in ten Republicans oppose such a move and independent voters are split on the issue. The March CNN survey also suggested a large partisan gap, as well as an income divide.

"Support for financial regulation is highest among upper-income Americans - possibly because they are the ones with more money in the hands of financial institutions, which also means they lost more when financial institutions ran into trouble in 2008," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

According to the Gallup poll, 42 percent say they have more trust in the Democrats to handle this issue, with 34 percent saying they trust the Republicans more, and one in four saying they trust neither party or are unsure.

The Gallup poll was conducted April 17-18, with 1,024 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn

Filed under: Financial Reform • Wall Street
soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. Rick McDaniel

    Absolutely.......IF......that includes making it not possible to bail them out, again, with taxpayer dollars.

    Every business that fails, through mismanagement, should be subject to being shut down, no matter what their size is.

    April 20, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  2. Hammerer

    American favor more regulation of Wall Street not more government control or bailouts.

    April 20, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  3. Jim

    Clearly more regulation is necessary. Anyone opposing that is clearly not representing the interest of their constituency, but that of the corporate masters they really serve.

    April 20, 2010 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  4. Kevin B

    Only the tone deaf and self deluding GOP lackeys would defend wall street's casino style of gambling hard working americans retirement savings away for the benfit of a few well connected campaign donors.

    This will be another republican "waterloo"

    April 20, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  5. Steph

    This should be a no brainer. Our government should put some common sense regulations in place since the greedy big bank guys don't seem to have an ethical bone in their bodies.

    April 20, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  6. Darrel from Denver

    Omigod! What are those poor Republicans to do? They can't possibly stand against the majority of Americans, can they?

    April 20, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  7. Dan

    The Republicans and Tea Party are protecting Wall st.

    April 20, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  8. D. Bunker

    Those corporate predators on Wall Street need to be brought to heel. If a company isn't producing real goods or services, we can't allow them to just continue feeding off the poor and middle class (not to mention our pension funds).

    April 20, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  9. Johnny DC

    If Americans understood that this bill gives unimaginable power to the federal government, infringing upon the free market system more than any bill ever written, they wouldn't be supporting it to the tune of 50%. That's for sure.

    April 20, 2010 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  10. Logan in IA

    I am actually surprised the number in favor isn't higher. I think most can agree that Wall St. needs regulation in order to keep it from going into these crazy roller coaster rides that causes these huge economic messes, like the one we are in now.

    April 20, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  11. todd jenson

    President Obama, 4 more years!Bush ruined the economy,President Obama fixed it!

    April 20, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  12. Beth

    It's about time you made information like this availabe so the party of NO, KNOWS!!!

    April 20, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
1 2 3