Poll: Half the country has heard about the Occupy Wall Street protests
Protestors sit in the street and demonstrate during an anti-Wall Street protest in downtown Los Angeles October 6, 2011.
October 10th, 2011
11:50 AM ET
10 years ago

Poll: Half the country has heard about the Occupy Wall Street protests

(CNN) - Roughly half of all Americans say they have heard of the Occupy Wall Street movement, and although most of the public doesn't have an opinion about the movement, positive views of it outweigh negative views among those who do, according to a new national survey.

An ORC International Caravan Poll released Monday indicates that 51% of Americans say they've heard about the Occupy Wall Street movement, with 49% saying they haven't heard about the demonstrations, which started in New York City 24 days ago and have spread to cities across the country.

Read full results (pdf).

According to the survey, 27% say they agree with the movement's overall position on the financial system and social change, with 19% saying disagree with Occupy Wall Street on those issues. Fifty-four percent of those questioned have no firm opinion about Occupy Wall Street - consistent with the 49% who say they have not heard of the movement at all.

The movement decries corporate greed and social inequality. But demonstrations have evolved to also include topics such as the war in Afghanistan and the environment.

On Sunday, politicians fought to cast the ongoing protests in a very different light, with two GOP presidential hopefuls calling them "class warfare" and prominent Democrats expressing support for the protesters.

As lawmakers took to the political talk shows, a crowd of about 100 people protested outside the White House, part of a wave of protests spreading nationwide inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement.

The ORC International Caravan Poll was conducted October 6-9, with 1,005 people 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.

Also see:

Pelosi says senator's comment 'disrespectful to women'

Top Republican rips Holder handling of 'Fast and Furious' investigation

Obama jobs bill facing key vote Tuesday

Filed under: Occupy Wall Street • Polls
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Captain Awesome

    Repost from facebook: "If the "occupiers" would put their bongs down for a moment – collectively, they might be able to form a coherent thought"

    October 10, 2011 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  2. Mike in SA

    Love the sign "We Need Good Jobs" – OK, how about getting a good degree then? Money for jobs and housing not banks and war! – OK...I can go with you on the war issue, and might go with you on the banks issue...but, without the banks, where you gonna' keep your money? Pillowcase, matress, left shoe?

    How about no more money for bailouts...no one is to big to fail! How about no more money for or to illegals! How about no more money to save lizards but rather spend it on saving people!

    October 10, 2011 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  3. lefty avenger

    The Main problem is George W. Bush engaged in bailing out Renegade Wall street hedge fund bankers and unpaid for wars of oil baron imperialism. Barrack Hussein Obama has done the same exact thing. Both presidents, the worst ever. Both fakes and Liars.

    October 10, 2011 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  4. Ed

    Hey Romney, you don't want to pay the same income taxes as the rest of us? Romney is one of the many reasons they are camped out in front of wall street. to protest his CEO friends.

    October 10, 2011 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  5. Naztaja

    It is amazing to me that there are so many negative comments, branding these folks as hippies, anarchists and socialists, event hough they are exercising free market principles as CONSUMERS who have grown sick and tired of being fleeced. If you are harranguing these folks, you are the actual facist. Free market expressions are all apart of the economic development of a capiitalistic nation. No one is demanding free money (if any of you jerks bothered to listen to something other than FOX you would hear that). Wanting value for your dollar is not radical...unless you are middle american and have grown tired of carrying water uphill for scumbags who intend on drowning you with it.

    If companies cease to provide value to their customers, why is it wrong for the customers to take action...apparently it is okay for the tea party....what hypocrites.

    October 10, 2011 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  6. ST

    "Half of country has heard about the Occupy Wall Street Protests"

    What about the other half? Where are they living? In this planet??????

    October 10, 2011 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  7. SKR

    These protests crack me up. No central goal, no cohesive plan, not a clue what exactly they want done. They're just against...something. We'll see how many of them are left when it's December 24, 20 degrees outside, and they're missing Christmas Eve. I'm going to guess, not many.

    October 10, 2011 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  8. TomInRochNY

    As the Occupy (fill in the blank) grows, the more irrelevant the TP/GOP becomes. That's why you see the professional, paid-for trolls posting negative comments. All name calling and no workable solutions. 2012 is going to be very interesting.

    October 10, 2011 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  9. SKR

    About that sign...you don't NEED a good job, you WANT a good job. And really, who doesn't? But even in the best economic times, nobody just hands you a good job. You need to EARN it. That's a privilege, not a right.

    October 10, 2011 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  10. klaus mager

    if the tea party truly understood who financed them, how they have been used, and how so many of their aims are identical to the occupy wall street movement, I think it would make a big difference for them. They are good people, pretty scared looking at the world that has changed on them

    October 10, 2011 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  11. Not sure

    Just gonne Copy/Paste what I wrote on my facebook wall about this.

    "So I'm watching (or listening rather) to CNBC's Speakers Corner at the "Occupy Wall Street" via their stream. So far about 6 people have spoken since I started watching it. 2 People sang a song very poorly 3 people have tried promoting their website/book/group and 1 guy had interesting things to say but ultimately didn't support their "movement" in any real way. Does anyone even know what these people are trying to accomplish? I mean even their website doesn't say too much other then "We Angry!" and throw around Cooperate Greed a lot. What's your opinions on this guys?"

    That was about an hour ago so many more have spoken, not many more have said anything worthwhile.

    October 10, 2011 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  12. gt

    throw in big insurance company too... all they care about is big profits ... good neighors , lizards, good hands , and flow.. are all about the buck in your pockets...

    October 10, 2011 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  13. Dave

    Seriously? Half the people HAVE NOT heard of this???!!! And we wonder why this country elects such morons into office!

    October 10, 2011 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  14. NVa Native

    At least we know it's really "grass-roots" group – and not a corporate front group to support by corporate interests with corporate money and corporate staffing yby those same corporate masters.
    And the motives are so simple the right-wingers try as they might they can't delute it with their fake question of "who are they".
    We all know they are a broad mix of the people of America that are upset that we have been supporting the fascist's agenda for far too long.

    October 10, 2011 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  15. Dave

    I Totally agree with your post, klaus mager. The Tea Party has been hijacked after what started as a grassroots movement. This will more than likely turn out the same way. Any time there is a true grassroots movement the special interests and Dems/GOP zero in to take over. OWS is being infiltrated as we speak.

    October 10, 2011 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  16. Dixie Independent voter

    If you don't agree with their cause - fine, but they have every right to protest. They are not anti-American as Cain says. Without protests Cain would be picking cotton. The protesters are angry. Their reasons for the protest may vary, but they are organized enough to be heard.

    October 10, 2011 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    Mike in SA wrote:
    Love the sign "We Need Good Jobs" – OK, how about getting a good degree then? Money for jobs and housing not banks and war! – OK...I can go with you on the war issue, and might go with you on the banks issue...but, without the banks, where you gonna' keep your money? Pillowcase, matress, left shoe?
    The protesters are not against banks. They are against the deceptive and predatory practices of the banks. Banks are still not lending partly because all of those mortgages they sold. A tight loan market means slow business growth, and few new business startups where most jobs are created.

    They are against the relaxed regulations that allow banks to invest deposits in savings accounts in the market. They protest the obscene salaries that some CEOs pay themselves. They are protesting tax policies that defend and safe guard the plutocracy that *has already formed* in this country.

    October 10, 2011 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  18. edpeters

    To Mike in SA: I know many people with degrees that can't get a job (I'm not counting washing dishes, etc.) and many of the protestors are Collage grads that can't find jobs (to pay off their student loans)! How about a bank(s) that serve their customers and don't give employees multi-million dollar bonuses, and don't deal with dirty mortgage bundles. Get the money out of the banks, not really they are needed to a degree. Control them with reasonable regulations, now there's a thought! Get the money out of government (congress, the White House, the Supreme Court): Just do it!

    October 10, 2011 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  19. meatief

    @SKR This has been going on for how long now and you still can't figure it out? No central goal, no cohesive plan, " That was the line fox was using in the first week. How about you go look for what it is that they want, rather than sit on your couch and listen to fox news tell you what the want, and who to vote for. You crack me up...no wait, you don't it isn't funny at all how stupid you are.

    October 10, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  20. Rsprings

    Most of the Occupiers didn't pay attention in their economics classes. They have no under standing of how the capitalism works or how to work within the system. They want this and the want that..blah blah blah. Do what I and countless others did...EARN what you want and need. Stop whining about greed. Do well earn what you can..be ambitious. Once you have earned it you will find you wont want to give it up to the likes of yourself as you are now.

    October 10, 2011 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  21. capjim

    I'm a teapartier and am not for these hippy types who want something for nothing, but rather smaller Gov. ,State rights, lower taxes and less spending. Seems that we are the majority that want to return to a republic, not pure Democracy as they advocate,. Where do they get the 99% stuff?

    October 10, 2011 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  22. carla

    perhaps why there is such a gap in how many people have heard about the protests, is because the media just started covering it last week. They have been lousy and when they do report, they are condescending.

    October 10, 2011 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  23. notasmellyhippy

    Yes, there are smelly hippies. But I have been to Occupy LA, and there are older, conservative people out there, too. There are a lot of legitimate gripes people have.

    Here is a comment I've taken from a different article. It isn't my story, but I feel it's an important one to share:

    "I know what I'm angry about. I own a small business with 3 employees and sales at around $500,000 per year. So, in Tea Party terms I'm a job creator. Last year I paid more in taxes then Exon, Bank of America, General Electric, Chevron, Boeing, Valero Energy, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, ConocoPhil­lios and Carnival Cruise Lines PUT TOGETHER. I hardly call this a free market, nor do I see it as unpatrioti­c, or even radical, to ask that they pay their fair share. In fact, quite the reverse, I see these companies as highly unAmerican­. They are more then happy to have access to the U.S. market, but don't see it as important to contribute to American society. The Occupy Wall Street protestors are the one putting themselves on the line to save this country from corporate takeover and that makes them the most patriotic bunch of people I have seen for decades."

    October 10, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  24. Madison

    Occupy wall street is a waste of time. I read a fantastic post about a much more effective way we can Occupy America, it just makes so much more sense. Anyone that is interested should check out thecompletespectrum.blogspot.com, I believe this guy has some really valid ideas. If we the 99% really want to occupy America, please check it out.

    October 10, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  25. Rudy NYC

    The protesters probably smell another collapse and bailout coming, which would go a long way towards paying off all of those bad mortgages still out there. I think one is coming because many of the banks are still running dangerous assets to liabilities ratios.

    That ratio describes how much money has been loaned out, compared to how much money is on deposit. Deposits are liabilities because it is money they have to pay out. Loans are assets because they represent income. Loans always exceed deposits. During sensible times, that ratio was always under 10:1, typically in the range of 4:1 to 8:1.

    During the collapse of 2008, ratios as high as 30:1 and 40:1 were common. Some banks were in the 70s, 80s, and 90s. They failed. Financial regulations that are currently being disputed in Congress wants to cap that ratio to sensible levels. Banks do not have enough deposits to meet those marks, but they could if they stopped paying the obscene salaries.

    October 10, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
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