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article imageNew poll shows spreading distrust of Wall Street and government

By Nancy Houser     Oct 13, 2011 in Politics
According to the ABC News/Washington Post Poll, political and ideological divisions show a sharp split in how the public views Wall Street financial institutions, Washington and the national news media—with Wall Street rated the most unfavorable.
The ABC-Post was prepared from October 5 to 9, 2011, in a random national sample of 1,000 adults with a sampling error of plus/minus 3.5% points. The final results showed Wall Street ratings at 70% unfavorable/22% favorable, with the U.S. government at 68% unfavorable/29% favorable and the national news media at 53% unfavorable/42% favorable. Obviously, the public evenly splits on their opinion of the media, but the government and Wall Street are equally distrusted and disliked by 70% of the public.
The ABC News/Washington Post Poll reports that seven out of 10 Americans feel that the financial institutions on Wall Street and the U.S. government have failed the nation and its citizens. How they failed depends on the party involved and the social class, with opinions as widely split as the poll.
Opinions about Wall Street between Democrats and Republicans show that 84% of Liberal Democrats view it negatively, while only 59% of Conservative Republicans view it as a problem. Yet when asked about the U.S. government, the table became instantly tipped. Approximately 89% of Republicans view Wall Street unfavorably while only 57% of Democrats have a negative opinion.
Seen in constant squabbling between the House and Senate, partisanship is very much responsible for the widening gap in politics and public opinion. The poll defines it even more when adding the Occupy Together movement that started in Wall Street, New York. This shows how deep the public animosity runs toward the government and its financial institutions. Because of the partisan and ideological concepts, the Tea Party movement on the right and the Occupy Wall Street movement associated with the left are voicing the same kind of frustration.
In addition to party affiliation, money and age play a big part in public opinion. Americans who are better off financially, especially those approaching retirement age, have strong negative opinions of Wall Street than other groups---due to recent exposure to financial market problems. Households that earn less than $50,000 dollar annual incomes have a 66% unfavorable opinion as compared to 78% for those who are better off financially.
Age has a lot to do with unfavorable/favorable opinions. Younger people are less negative toward Wall Street than Americans who are middle-aged. Those who are from 50 to 64 years of age show strong unfavorable views of Wall Street and its financial institutions, higher than any other age group.
The Washington Post has found that those who are strongly unfavorable toward Wall Street institutions outnumber favorable opinions by eight to one. This shows, along with the ABC News/Washington Post Poll, that the government and Wall Street are equally disliked and mistrusted.
The U.S. government has reaped two-thirds of Americans who now view it unfavorably, with strong unfavorable impressions rating higher among Republicans, a group that adds fuel to the Tea Party political movement. Republicans and some Democrats blame it on President Obama, and Democrats and some Republicans blame it on the House and Senate—forming the unfavorable opinions cited as "against the government," but for opposite reasons.
The ABC-Post states their poll shows that there is an advantage in keeping the middle class afloat, helping President Obama’s approval rating. Additionally, the Gallup poll shows that Americans favor Obama’s jobs plan proposal, including taxing the rich.
More about New, Poll, Shows, Distrust, Wall street
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