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Post-ABC poll: financial regulations

A broad - but slimmer - majority of Americans in a new Washington Post-ABC News poll support stricter federal regulations of the financial industry, although few have a lot of confidence the government is putting in place measures to lower the odds of another crisis.

Overall, 62 percent of those polled back new, tougher federal regulations on they way banks and other financial institutions conduct their business, but that's down from 76 percent a year ago.

Majorities of Democrats, independents and Republicans alike continue to support new rules here, but the percentages doing so have fallen by double-digits in all three groups.

As in September, the public divides about evenly on the question of whether the government is enacting safeguards against another financial crisis, but with only 4 percent now "very confident" it's doing so.

There's also still even broader skepticism that the financial institutions themselves are changing their business practices in a way that makes another major setback less likely; six in 10 are "not so" or "not at all confident" that they're making the necessary adjustments.

Majorities across the partisan spectrum lack confidence that businesses are making changes to lower the risk of crisis, and most Republicans and independents also express little or no confidence that Washington is doing this. By contrast, two-thirds of Democrats are at least somewhat confident the federal government is putting in place sufficient measures to avert another round of financial calamity.

Q. Do you support or oppose stricter federal regulations on the way banks and other financial institutions conduct their business?
Asked of the 62 percent who support stricter regulations: Should these regulations be much stricter, or somewhat stricter?

[Chart]

Q. How confident are you that [the federal government is putting measures into place/financial institutions will change their business practices in a way] that will make another financial crisis less likely in the future?

The federal government
48% confident; 52% not

[Chart]

Financial institutions
39% confident; 60% not

By Jon Cohen  |  February 11, 2010; 2:00 PM ET
Categories:  Post Polls  
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