June 2nd, 2010
02:57 PM ET
13 years ago

CNN Poll: Americans split on top two Obama initiatives

Washington (CNN) - Two of President Barack Obama's top legislative initiatives - health care reform and financial regulation - are getting different reactions from the American public, according to a new national poll.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday indicates that a growing number of Americans support increased federal regulation over Wall Street banks and other financial institutions. Six out of ten people questioned in the poll say they favor the legislation, with 38 percent opposed. Support for the bill is up seven points from March, and opposition is down five points.

Full results (pdf)

"Higher-income Americans appear more likely to support the bill than those who make less than $50,000 a year. Stricter financial regulations are popular with Democrats and Independents; a bare majority of Republicans oppose that legislation," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

The legislation aims to stop bailouts, shines a light on complex financial products and strengthens consumer protection. The bill would establish a consumer financial protection regulatory agency that could write new rules to protect consumers from unfair or abusive mortgages and credit cards.

It would also create a council of regulators that would sound an alarm before companies are in position to trigger a financial crisis. The bill would also establish new procedures for shutting down giant financial firms that are collapsing.

The House, last year, and the Senate, last month, passed different versions of the legislation. Lawmakers from each chamber will try this month to work out the differences in the bills. The goal is to send the final legislation to the president before the July 4 recess.

The poll suggests that most Americans continue to oppose the passage of the health care bill which Obama signed into law in April, although the public may be slightly more optimistic about the bill's ultimate effect on the country.

According to the survey, 56 percent of the public disapprove of the passage of the bill, with 43 percent approving of the new law.

"Opposition is highest among men, older Americans, and people who make more than $50,000 a year," says Holland.

But Americans are more evenly divided over whether the health care bill will be good or bad for the country. Fifty-one percent of people questioned in the survey say the bill will hurt the U.S., with 46 percent saying it will help.

"That indicates that Republican candidates may want to make the midterm elections into a retrospective referendum on whether the bill should have passed, while Democratic candidates may prefer to focus on the future and what the health care bill might mean for the country in the long run," adds Holland.

Supporters celebrate the enactment of the landmark $940 billion measure, but critics insist it will do little to slow spiraling costs and say businesses will be burdened by a slew of new regulations and taxes.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted May 21-23, with 1,023 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

Filed under: CNN poll • Financial Reform • Health care
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Remember the Alamo

    I am againest anything he approves. He's the dubest thing around. Let er go Erkel.

    June 2, 2010 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  2. JP

    We didn't get health care reform we got a new entitlement program. Real reform would have included things like tort reform and sending uncover people on sting operations to root out fraud.

    June 2, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  3. phoenix86

    CNN would do well to read the financial reform bill that Obama and the dems are pushing. Like the Healthcare "reform" bill, there are a lot of devils in the details. The biggest bait-and-switch of the financial reform bill is that it provides for bailing out the big banks while the small banks have to pay for the costs.

    June 2, 2010 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  4. LacrosseMom (the real one)

    America needs both! People seriously need to become informed, instead of listening to the Faux News hate-and-lie-mongers!

    June 2, 2010 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  5. annie s

    Any American who opposes then health care bill must do so out of ignorance, because there is nothing frightening or over the top there – and there sure as heck isn't a "government takeover" of healthcare. Instead of a robust public option, which would have created healthy competition and lowered private insurance premiums, we got a bill that props up the private sector and continues to allow them to dictate our health care. Still, it was an incredible feat and a good first step. My vote will go to the politicians who voted to save 44,000 American lives every year.

    June 2, 2010 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |

    As far as healthcare is concern...we all need it, can't live without it

    June 2, 2010 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  7. Brenda

    CNN should have done a better job with their 'poll'.

    For example........The questions should have been.............

    'Do you want additional financial regulations passed"

    Then, it should have been...........

    "Do you want the DEMOCRAT'S version of financial regulations passed'

    I bet that you would have totally different poll results.

    And, in regard to the health care disaster that has passed--more and more information is coming out from the CBO regarding the 'real' costs-–and more information about how it will destroy our current health care system.

    Fortunately, the majority of citizens watch Fox News--so that they are able to get the 'real' facts regarding both of these issues.

    June 2, 2010 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  8. Marty, FL

    Is it any wonder the GOP sides with Wall St. interests over Main St. Americans? Incredibly, the majority of Republicans oppose financial reform that protects consumers and provides proper oversight.

    June 2, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  9. Orlando r.

    The healthcare bill will benefit in the long run, obama looks ahead in the future and does what he knows whats right for this country and the middle class. When his term is over, historians will look back and see him as one of the best presidents we ever had....and i believe the economy will bounce back. It may take a while, longer then 4 years...but it will happen.

    June 2, 2010 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  10. one voice

    The GOP are Corporate shills and will OPPOSE ANY BILL that will benefit the Average Americans.( You don't believe me? just look at the last year and a half, and the results of the worst 8 years for the Average Americans during the Bush/Cheney resime). PERIOD

    June 2, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  11. one voice

    The people that oppose this legislation are 1. Rich and could care less for the Average Americans. 2. Blinded by racism and would oppose anything Generated by a black man 3. dumber than hell.

    June 2, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  12. Dar

    I'd stay Americans are split on a heck of alot more than two initiatives.
    The bad thing is half of American's are right and the other half is wrong.
    Only time will tell who the smart ones were and who did their homework before voting.

    June 2, 2010 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |