Monday, October 17, 2011
In the minds of likely voters, Washington, not Wall Street, is primarily to blame for the financial crisis and the subsequent recession
The Hill poll found that only one in three likely voters blames Wall Street for the country’s financial troubles, whereas more than half — 56% — blame Washington. Moreover, when it comes to the political consequences of the protest, voters tend to believe that there are more perils than positives for Obama and the Democrats. A plurality believe that the Occupy Wall Street movement will hurt Democrats and Obama in the 2012 election. Even those whose sympathies lie on the left of center seem unsure about the likely political repercussions. Just half of all liberal likely voters — the group most likely to blame Wall Street for the recession — and fewer than half of all Democrats believe the protests will help their side in 2012. The split on the question of apportioning blame for the nation’s economic travails corresponds closely with voters’ political ideologies: More than 7 in 10 conservatives blamed Washington for the recession, while more than 5 in 10 liberals blamed Wall Street. But self-identified centrists, importantly, appear to be siding with the right on economic issues, with nearly half blaming Washington for the recession. The difference also reflected voters’ views of Obama: Among those who “strongly” or “somewhat” approve of Obama, most blamed Wall Street, while those who “strongly” or “somewhat” disapprove of Obama blamed Washington.