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. Operation Crush Rush

    Wall Street has become a bigger Gambling mecca than Vegas,with even more new ways to lose your hard earned cash.Republicans wanted us to put our retirement money and Social Security Funds in the market so we could lose even more than we already have lost.Dont do it folks.

    April 20, 2010 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  2. Michael from Ventura

    Are you listening Grand Obstructionists? Oh that's right- it's not what the people want, it's that you make President Obama fail.

    April 20, 2010 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  3. Chris D.

    The GOP, has missed the train all year........ to save face, they should vote yes, to financial regulation.

    April 20, 2010 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  4. ABM

    Republicants – Are you listening? If you do not come to the table to work together like nice little children then pack your bags you are going home.

    April 20, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  5. Dano

    Since the GOP is supposedly greatly concerned with what the American people want – at least they said so during the health care reform battle – they should be all over this issue, right?? One would think they would be a bit torn because while 70% of Republican voters are against it, support for financial regulation is highest among upper-income Americans (two competing constituencies), yet Republican senators have come out strongly against the financial reform bill before even seeing what's included. Who cares what's good for the country, huh guys?

    April 20, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  6. kate 4rm idaho

    well considering the recent economic meltdown...i say why not???

    April 20, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  7. Dan, McFarland, WI

    We're fed up with Wall Street receiving billions in bonuses for driving their companies in the ground.

    Every couple months, we hear about an executive leaving a company because they did a terrible job, but they get a golden parachute worth millions. Why...because the executives are friends with the board of directors.

    Did anyone really think Martha Stewart was the queen of Wall Street insiders? They arrested a big public name instead of going after the real insiders. Insiders clearly knew the banks were running scams just to get bigger bonuses. The theory was to make as much money as possible now and let everyone else deal with the mess.

    April 20, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  8. Fitz in Texas

    They poll 1,024 adult Americans and we are to believe that 50% of the public supports giving Washington more power to regulate Wall Street......yeah, right. Anyone who believes this I would love to meet because I have a great used car to sell you.

    April 20, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  9. Marty, FL

    America needs finance reform to protect consumers from another financial collapse. Corporatist GOP opposing such protections and siding with hedge fund managers sadly speaks volumes for their special interests, instead of Main St. interests.

    April 20, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  10. Donna from Colorado Springs

    Even with 50% of the people polled agree that Washington needs to enact financial reform, the stiff backed Republican party is dead set against it! Just what does that tell you about them? This is just like healthcare reform. They will oppose ANYTHING THAT THE DEMOCRATS AND OBAMA WANT to the point of being ridiculous. Just what are they afraid of this time? Could it be that they will be losing boatloads of cash? Back room deals? Wake up people! The Republicans want things the way that they are now and will do whatever they have to do to keep the status quo!

    April 20, 2010 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  11. Cosmo

    How about a poll of the American people on what they think of the Republican "Just Say NO" strategy with regard to financial reform. I think they also call it "Take A Wall Streeter to Lunch and Let Him/Her Pay For It With Your Money."

    April 20, 2010 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  12. CSM

    It's about time!.. These tea party people are gunning for the wrong people. It's Wall Street that got us into this mess!

    April 20, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  13. Ken in Pisgah Forest

    Unless Congress votes to re-enact Glass-Steagel, this is a hollow bill. Former Sen. Phil Gramm pushed to pass the repeal of G-S and Robert Rubin pushed Bill Clinton to sign it, and then Rubin went to work for Citibank, the bank that had the most to gain from its repeal. If G-S hadn't been repealed, we would not have seen the financial collapse in September, 2008. G-S was originally passed during the Great Depression to keep it from recurring and it would have worked this time around if anti-regulation bent risk takers hadn't taken it out of play.

    April 20, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    Waht is there to oppose in this legislation other than Republicans just saying no to anything proposed by Democrats?
    Why bother taking polls- just check the voter registration and use thos numbers.

    April 20, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  15. Citizen123

    So when exactly did a 50% support become enough to say that America is supportive of this?

    April 20, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  16. Nea

    All these polls and nobody called me or ask me anything, please Cnn dont say the majority of Americans if you didnt ask all Americans. we dont know who these polls support for all we know they could be asking the majority of the tea partiers especially if its concernong the President.

    April 20, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  17. me in NH

    what ?

    the party of NO is against the Regulations !!! i'm surprised.

    under Bush/Cheney they were free to do – whatever, look where that brought us ?

    April 20, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  18. tjaman

    So ... those 36 percent must be really happy with the hit their 401(k) took last year, too.

    April 20, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  19. Aspen Professor

    Only the right- wing extremist Republicans are in favor of protecting the huge banks and wall-street, but what would you expect from these hand in the cookie jar fools

    April 20, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  20. Steve (the real one)

    Does anybody really think government intrusion will stop at Wall Street? Keep thinking that if you want. It will soon hit Main Street very soon!

    April 20, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  21. harold

    If you do not control Wall Street.. Then all you got is Racketeering.. in Wall Street......and uncontroled..

    April 20, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  22. hampster

    The republicans will ddo everything possible to make sure that WALL STREET still runs the show and can do whatever they want to do; especially screw the public and rip off mega millions of dollars!!!

    April 20, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  23. Ex - SC Pub

    Let's see CNN; your headline yesterday was from a poll that said "Americans do not trust their government."
    Now here they are wanting more government control. Perhaps your headline should read... "You can't trust polls!"

    April 20, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  24. Tulsa

    OK GOP...... you say the Congress needs to listen to the will of the PEOPLE. Are you going to do what the PEOPLE want or are you going to sit on your thumbs and say NO like a bunch of 3rd graders?

    I think I know the answer to that one. If you want the bill to be bi-partisan, then get off your big white male wealthy butts and CONTRIBUTE.

    April 20, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  25. Desmond in Canada

    Now the US public is showing that it has brains and a sense of justice!!!

    April 20, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
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