Americans on bailout: Stop spending

Americans overwhelmingly say federal bailout has not been effective and majority want the government to stop providing money to banks.

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By Paul Steinhauser, CNN Deputy Political Director

Was the Senate right to release to Obama the second half of $700 billion bailout?
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The government's financial bailout for troubled banks has not worked so far, a majority of respondents to a national poll say, and six in 10 don't want Washington to spend more money on the rescue.

Sixty-one percent of those questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Friday oppose providing more government money in the financial bailout. There are some supporters, however -- 38% said the government should provide more assistance to ailing banks and other financial institutions.

Most of the 1,245 adult Americans who were questioned for the poll were surveyed before Thursday's Senate vote to release the remaining $350 billion in the financial bailout program.

"One reason for the opposition to more money being spent may be that more than eight in 10 said that the first $350 billion of taxpayer money for the bailout didn't work," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Only 14% say that the money accomplished what it was supposed to do."

Regardless of the apparent public opposition to the bailout, the Senate voted 52 to 42 to release the remaining funds.

"Barack Obama may have something to do with the vote," said Holland. "Democratic leaders in the Senate may not have been eager for a showdown with the president-elect. The public would have been squarely on Obama's side. Sixty-two percent in the poll say they trust Obama more than Democratic Congressional leaders."

That compares to only 25% of those questioned in the poll indicating they would be more likely to trust Democratic Congressional leaders over Obama when they disagree on an issue.

The poll also suggests that 50% of those questioned believe Republicans are more responsible for the economic problems facing the country right now. Less than a quarter of the respondents said Democrats are more to blame, and one in five said both parties are equally at fault.

"Democrats may also have recognized that the public still blames the GOP for the bad economy. That suggests that the public may give the Democrats some leeway, at least for now," Holland added.

The 61% who oppose proving more taxpayer money for the financial bailout is up from 56% who opposed the initial bailout in mid-October.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey was conducted Monday through Thursday by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points for some questions and plus or minus 4.5 percentage points for others. To top of page

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