Voters overwhelmingly say they want stronger regulations for banks and less Wall Street influence in Washington even as the financial crisis recedes into the past, according to a new poll released Tuesday by advocates of tougher rules on the financial industry.
Seventy-three percent of likely 2016 voters favor the provisions of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, the poll conducted by Democratic pollster Celinda Lake found. The poll was commissioned as the law's proponents and critics alike prepare to mark the five-year anniversary of its passage.
"People believe the financial industry is underregulated," Lake said in a conference call with financial reform advocates and the media Tuesday.
Lake's research was commissioned by Americans for Financial Reform and the Center for Responsible Lending, two groups that have supported the new Dodd-Frank rules from criticism from the industry and the GOP.
The results found broad support across partisan lines and demographic categories for the law, which represented the most significant reshaping of the financial system since the New Deal. Fully 80 percent of Democrats support the law's provisions as described in the poll, as do 72 percent of independents and 65 percent of Republicans.
That survey question incorporated partisan arguments for and against the law. The pro-law argument blamed the crisis on a system "rigged" by Wall Street and called for new rules to prevent people from getting "ripped off." The anti-law argument described Dodd-Frank as a "job killer" and said that "excessive government regulation and bureaucracy" can't be allowed to hurt the recovery.
Since a previous iteration of the poll in 2012, support for tougher regulations has increased, Lake noted, even as the effects of the financial crisis and housing crash have worn off. The desire for strong rules on finance "has really emerged as a core attitude in the American public and tapped into core values," Lake said.
The survey results also revealed three-to-one support for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the consumer safety agency created by the law, again based on the interviewer's description. The bureau has been criticized by Republicans as uncountable and overreaching.
The poll surveyed 1,000 likely 2016 voters June 15-22, and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent.