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Public views mirror conference battle on financial regulation

With a battle among Democrats over a remake of the nation's financial regulations coming to a head, public opinion mirrors the split in the conference, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

As Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) leads the charge for stricter regulations and other Democrats argue for the more hands-off approach already in the bill, most Americans say the changes either do not go far enough or are about right. One in five feel the proposals go too far.

The intra-party divide among Democrats apparent in the House and Senate deliberations comes through in the data as well. About half of Democrats call the proposals about right (47 percent) while nearly as many say they do not go far enough (43 percent). Very few say the bill goes too far (6 percent).

Republicans are more apt than Democrats or independents to say the regulations go too far (43 percent), and just over a third considers it about right (35 percent). A sizable minority, however, thinks the proposed changes do not go far enough (17 percent). Conservatives are more apt to say the regulations fall short (30 percent), and are a bit less likely to think they go too far (33 percent).

Previous Washington Post-ABC News polling found broad public support for stronger regulations, with about two-thirds in favor of stricter federal rules.

Q. On another subject, given what you've heard about them, do you think the new financial regulations being developed by Congress and the Obama administration go too far in regulating banks and other financial institutions, don't go far enough, or are about right?

            Too far   Not far enough   About right   No opinion
All           20            35             39             6

Democrat       6            43             47             4
Republican    43            17             35             5
Independent   19            39             35             7

Liberal       10            43             40             6
Moderate      14            34             47             5
Conservative  33            30             31             5

By Jennifer Agiesta  |  June 24, 2010; 1:00 PM ET
Categories:  Economy , Financial regulation , Post Polls  
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