Poll: Americans Say Bernanke Cares More About Wall Street

The Senate Banking Committee will vote on the renomination of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke tomorrow, and he faces some vocal opposition: Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) pledged that he would "do everything I can to stop your nomination and drag out this process as long as I can," and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who is not a member of the committee, has placed a hold on Bernanke's nomination that would prevent the entire chamber from voting on it.

One of the main complaints is that Bernanke has been too friendly to banks under the government's bailout regime. According to a new poll, Americans agree.

In a new poll by Research 2000, 47 percent of respondents said Bernanke cares more about Wall Street; 20 percent said he cares more about "Main Street"; 33 percent weren't sure. The poll was commissioned by the Progressive Campaign Change Committee.

The question simplifies a central concept of the bank bailouts: that too-big-to-fail institutions on Wall Street are so integral to the functioning of the entire economy that they must be rescued, despite irresponsible behavior, in order to save the rest of us. In other words, the government was forced to tend to to Wall Street in order to save Main Street.

It is, however, an important question in politics. The administration can't be seen as too friendly to Wall Street as it carries out the overarching economic rescue--otherwise it will face a backlash of venomous public opposition to financial institutions and a mistrust of the government as it deals with them.

Bernanke has the support of Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-CT), and he will likely pass. It's unclear whether, or how long, a stalemate will continue on the Senate floor.

Presented by

Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

Saving the Bees

Honeybees contribute more than $15 billion to the U.S. economy. A short documentary considers how desperate beekeepers are trying to keep their hives alive.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Politics

Just In