Majorities also back two main components of legislation congressional Democrats plan to bring to a vote in the Senate this week: greater federal oversight of consumer loans and a company-paid fund that would cover the costs of dismantling failed firms that put the broader economy at risk.
A third pillar of the reform effort draws a more even split: 43 percent support federal regulation of the derivatives market; 41 percent are opposed. Nearly one in five – 17 percent – express no opinion on this complicated topic.
President Obama, who traveled to New York last week to deliver his case for sweeping changes to the financial system gets an even-up review of his performance on the issue, with 48 percent of those polled approving of his handling of financial regulation and 48 percent disapproving.
But compared with congressional Republicans, Obama has a clear advantage. A slim majority – 52 percent – of all Americans says they trust Obama over the GOP on the issue, while 35 percent favor the Republicans in Congress. Independents prefer Obama 47 to 35 percent, with 16 percent trusting neither side on the issue.
In the poll, most Democrats back each of the three major elements of the reform legislation and most Republicans oppose them, echoing the congressional showdown expected this week.
The area with the highest levels of cross-party support is on more robust federal oversight of the way banks and other financial companies make consumer loans, such as auto loans, credit cards and mortgages. Here, 44 percent of Republicans approve of stricter guidelines, joining 75 percent of Democrats and 57 percent of independents on the issue.
In this poll, support for new federal regulation was about the same for “banks and other financial institutions” as for “Wall Street firms.”
A recent Gallup poll taken before Obama took his case for reform to New York last week showed somewhat greater support for new laws aimed at Wall Street, suggesting the phrase had become a pejorative.
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