Americans might not be as eager for financial reform as Washington thinks, according to a new YouGovPolimetrix National Omnibus/Hamilton Place Poll out today. Just 44% of respondents strongly or somewhat favor "new laws to overhaul government regulation of financial institutions." And some of the more granular results are even more surprising.
For starters, most of those polled don't think financial reform should be one of the top two priorities for Washington. In fact, just 18% think it should be given that level of importance by policymakers. 61% did, however, believe that financial reform was at least fairly important.
It would probably be useful if the same question was asked a year earlier: with the financial crisis still clear in the memory of Americans back then, it's likely that there would have been more interest in financial reform. Democrats may have squandered their opportunity pursue more aggressive regulation with broader public support at that time compared to the effort's current lackluster support.
Speaking of Democrats, they led those who support more regulation with 69% in favor. But it's astonishing how few independents support reform -- just 37%. Only 23% of Republicans support it.