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September 11, 2018

New Poll Shows Bipartisan Majority of Voters Opposed to Weakening Financial Protection Rules


Wednesday, September 12, 2018


New Poll Shows Bipartisan Majority of Voters Opposed to Weakening Financial Protection Rules On the 10th Anniversary of the Financial Crisis

Research from Better Markets conducted by The Harris Poll finds a majority of American voters want to back candidates who want to rein in Wall Street as part of economic agenda

Voters overwhelming see the rollback of financial crisis rules as a part of the corruption in Washington


WASHINGTON – Polling commissioned by Better Markets and conducted online by The Harris Poll (among over 1,700 registered voters) found that Democrats, Republicans and independents oppose ongoing efforts to loosen financial regulation designed to prevent another financial catastrophe—and they see it as more evidence of the corruption in Washington.

By an overwhelming majority, registered voters further stated that reining in Wall Street is an essential component of an agenda that promotes jobs and the economy.  This is what voters want to hear when candidates discuss their economic agenda, according to new research from Better Markets conducted to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the global financial crisis.

The poll (fielded August 23-27, 2018) found that registered voters overwhelmingly are more likely to back candidates who express support for regulating big banks when they talk about the economy. Two-thirds (67 percent) agree with the following statement:

“I’d be more likely to vote for a candidate who supports regulating Wall Street and big banks, when he/she talks about the economy.”

This includes strong majorities of Republican (59 percent), independent (65 percent) and Democratic (79 percent) voters.

A majority of registered voters (58 percent) want to either restore regulations put in place following the 2008 crisis (29 percent) or support additional regulation of banks beyond just the 40 biggest banks with at least $50 billion in assets (29 percent). Among those who will “definitely” vote in 2018, an even larger proportion (66 percent) disagree with Washington’s recent deregulation and want to keep the same regulations or make them stricter. This support for restoring or expanding financial regulation exists across the political spectrum and is shared by most Democrats (70 percent) and independents (53 percent), as well as a plurality of Republicans (49 percent).

The legislation, enacted in May 2018, changed key aspects of the financial rules passed in 2010 on 26 of the 40 biggest banks, including raising the threshold for annual stress tests.

Importantly, nearly 7 in 10 registered voters (69 percent) believe that weakening regulations on banks that got bailouts after the 2008 financial crisis is a “great example” of the corruption problem in Washington. This is true for a strong majority of Democrats (75 percent) independents (72 percent) and Republicans (60 percent).

“The American people have not forgotten the economic pain and suffering inflicted on them just ten years ago by Wall Street’s biggest banks and want to keep them on a tight leash to make sure they don’t return to their risky and reckless activities, which will wreck the economy and jobs again,” said Dennis Kelleher, President and CEO of Better Markets. “The American people are right that weakening the financial protection rules put in place just a few years ago on the country’s biggest banks is evidence of how powerful interests have corrupted Washington, putting the interests of Wall Street ahead of Main Street.”

This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Better Markets from August 23-27, 2018 among 2,023 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, including 1,738 registered voters. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including question wording, weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact Nick Jacobs at or 202-618-6430.




Better Markets is a non-profit, non-partisan, and independent organization founded in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis to promote the public interest in the financial markets, support the financial reform of Wall Street and make our financial system work for all Americans again. Better Markets works with allies – including many in finance – to promote pro-market, pro-business and pro-growth policies that help build a stronger, safer financial system that protects and promotes Americans’ jobs, savings, retirements and more. To learn more, visit

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