Pew Financial Reform Project National Poll: Major Findings

Mar 25, 2010

A poll of 1,000 likely 2010 general election voters was conducted on March 4-8, 2010 by the bipartisan polling team of The Mellman Group and Ayres, McHenry & Associates.  The poll has a margin of error of ± 3%. Here are some key results.  

The Financial Crisis Affected an Exceptional Number Of Americans

  • 46% have either lost their job, or had a family member or close friend lose a job due to the financial crisis; 53% have lost some, most or all of their savings.

Financial Reform Is a High National Priority

  • 74% of voters believe that the chances are 50-50 or better that the U.S. will experience another financial crisis in the next three years.
  • Most Americans believe that reforming the financial sector is a top priority for the nation, even in the face of other pressing issues such as health care, education and immigration reform, and the war in Afghanistan. 
  • 59% of voters felt Congress and the administration should support financial reform now, over other priorities.

Inaction Will Hurt Incumbents

  • 50% of voters say they would view their member of Congress more favorably if reform is enacted this year, while only 18% would view them less favorably.

All Key Elements of Reform Matter

  • Each of these major elements of reform was supported by over 80% of voters: An early warning system to address signs of trouble in the system; Ending "Too Big to Fail" and bailouts; Increasing market transparency to protect investors and families; Giving consumers better information about business practices.

After Hearing the Arguments For and Against the Proposed Reforms, Voter Support for Legislation Increased

  • At the start of the survey, 29% opposed reform, and 40% supported it.
  • After details were explained and arguments for and against reform described, opposition stayed at 29% but support rose to over 60%.

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