Not only do 52% of the 1,200 adults polled think the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) should be liquidated, but the same percentage also views them ‘unfavorably.’
At the same time, 72% of Americans agree that the GSEs are widely recognized and thus have strong name recognition.
The poll includes responses from people who live in 18 congressional districts, representing a balanced mix of Republican, Democrat and swing voters.
The poll found 32% of respondents oppose liquidating the GSEs.
‘The debate over the future of Fannie and Freddie starts with both organizations at near toxic levels of negativity among the voters,’ said pollster Wes Anderson of On Message Inc. ‘Even a majority of Democrat voters are negative toward both entities. Voter opinions about Fannie and Freddie and their future all but collapse when reminded about the massive nature of taxpayer bailouts they received.’
‘We have known for years that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac played central roles in the 2008 financial crisis and the right policy course is to be phase them out,’ added Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the AAF. ‘It is fascinating to see that, across party lines, the public also shares this view.’
When reminded that Fannie and Freddie played a role in the housing bubble that led to the economic crisis that began in 2008 – and then received nearly $200 billion in bailouts – the 52% that support liquidation increased to 59%.
Respondents were divided almost evenly on the effectiveness of recent banking regulations, with 38% saying they have done more harm than good and 41% saying they have been helpful.
For more, check out the survey.