57 Percent of Public Favors Wall Street Bailout

  • September 23, 2008

By a margin of almost two-to-one the American public thinks the government is doing the right thing in investing billions of dollars to try to keep financial institutions and markets secure, according to the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. Reacting to initial reports of the federal bailout plan over the weekend, 57% said the government was doing the right thing, while 30% said it was doing the wrong thing. At the same time, only 19% of the public believes that the government is currently doing an excellent or good job in handling the financial problems on Wall Street. Support for the administration's plan to bailout many of the nation's troubled financial institutions is largely bipartisan.

These are the principal findings of a Pew Research Center for the People and the Press survey conducted September 19-22, 2008 among 1,003 adults, which found that voters favor Barack Obama over John McCain as the presidential candidate best able to address the current financial crisis: 47% favor Obama, while 35% choose McCain. Independents prefer Obama over McCain by a margin of 44% to 30%, while Republicans and Democrats line up solidly behind their party nominees.

The survey finds the highest level of citizen interest in reports about the economy in nearly 20 years of Center news interest polling. A solid majority of Americans (56%) say they followed news about the economy very closely last week. In addition, 49% say they followed news about the turmoil on Wall Street very closely.

Read the full report 57% of Public Favors Wall Street Bailout on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press Web site.