Washington, D.C., June 16, 2014 – Pundits have mostly blamed Eric Cantor’s shocking defeat last week in the Virginia 7th District Republican primary on the debate over immigration reform. However, a closer look at the election shows that challenger David Brat’s grassroots campaign focused on Wall Street “crooks” and the too-big-to-fail banks that have not been held accountable for causing the worst financial crash since 1929 and the worst economy since the Great Depression of the 1930s, which continues to inflict economic wreckage today.
A recent survey conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, at the request of Better Markets, polled 1,000 likely 2014 voters and shows that voters still see Wall Street as full of “bad actors” in need of stricter regulation and punishment for their illegal behavior. Tellingly, it also shows that voters overwhelmingly see government efforts to properly police Wall Street as a failure.
This should be no surprise: voters saw the too-big-to-fail Wall Street banks receive billions in bailouts from taxpayers with no strings attached or accountability, while the American people suffered from the crisis those bailed out Wall Street banks caused, including millions of foreclosures, tens of millions unemployed, and trillions in lost wealth and savings.
As Mr. Brat said, “The crooks up on Wall Street and some of the big banks — I’m pro-business, I’m just talking about the crooks — they didn’t go to jail, they are on Eric [Cantor]’s Rolodex.” The survey confirms that voters across the political spectrum want accountability and stronger regulation of Wall Street. As the Cantor upset proved, these continue to be potent issues and politicians should not ignore voters who want their interests protected, not Wall Street’s high risk gambling.