ABC/WaPo poll: Majority of Americans oppose Big 3 bailout
posted at 8:59 am on December 16, 2008 by Ed Morrissey
If you look closely at the Washington Post, waaaaaaay back in Section D, page 10, you’ll find out that a majority of American adults oppose efforts by the Democrats and the White House to subsidize the Big Three automakers. For some reason — call it an editorial glitch — the poll finds itself in the back of the newspaper, along with personal ads and the obituaries. Will our elected officials on Capitol Hill uncover this data?
Most Americans continue to oppose a government-backed rescue plan for Detroit’s Big Three automakers as majorities blame the industry for its own problems and are unconvinced failure would hurt the economy, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
Overall, 55 percent of those polled oppose the latest plan that Chrysler, Ford and General Motors executives pitched to Congress last week, on par with public opposition to earlier, pricier efforts. But with 42 percent support, the new request for up to $14 billion in emergency loans has more backers than previous proposals to secure up to $34 billion in loan guarantees.
But as with the earlier bids, those who strongly oppose the measure greatly outnumber those who are strongly supportive.
Opposition to the automaker bailout is fueled by the widespread perception that the companies themselves are responsible for their predicament, not the faltering economy. In the new poll, three-quarters of Americans said Detroit’s woes are mainly the fault of its own management decisions, and a sizable majority of those who blame the front office object to government help.
Wow, who knew that 55% of Americans hate auto workers? That was the excuse offered by pro-bailout advocates, who accused Senate Republicans of union-busting and of acting unpatriotically — as if our American citizenship depended on the Escalade. In fact, not only do most Americans oppose shoveling billions of dollars into unprofitable companies, the level of opposition has remained unchanged for a month, according to the internals of the polls.
If those who oppose the bailout hate unions and workers, that’s news to … union workers. According to the poll, 53% of union workers oppose the bailout. Fifty-six percent of non-union workers oppose the bailout, too. Democrats, which spent the end of last week screeching about how Republicans hate the nation and the economy, only support this by a bare majority within their party (52%). Only 41% of independents support the bailout, about the same level as the general population. I guess all non-Democrats hate their country, and almost half of Democrats too, for that matter.
Maybe the East and Midwest really hate America, too. Oddly, in those regions most affected by the collapse of the car companies, only half of respondents support the bailout, with opposition equal. It’s less popular in the South and West, where 59% of Americans oppose the bailout.
I guess everyone everywhere hates America. Who knew that the only people with a patriotic bone in their body were those who spend money we don’t have by giving it to companies with a long track record of losing it just to retain the favor of labor management that don’t listen to their own rank-and-file? Now, that’s news. Too bad the Washington Post chose to bury it in the coupon section.
Update: Hey, Gallup finds half of Americans are unpatriotic, too!
According to the same survey, Americans are about evenly divided over the merits of the failed bailout package: 47% say they would rather have seen the legislation pass, while 46% preferred that it fail.
Most Democrats support the auto bailout, while most Republicans and half of independents oppose it.
The biggest culprit in the Gallup poll for the demise of the bill wasn’t Republicans, but auto executives, followed closely by the unions. (via Political Machine)