Nearly three years later and a majority (51 percent) of Americans remain unconvinced that the bailout money given to General Motors and Chrysler was meritorious. In contrast 31 percent believe the bailouts were good and 17 percent were unsure, according to a recent Rasmussen survey.
Interestingly, perceptions of bailout efficacy vary substantially with partisan identification. A majority (55 percent) of Democrats approve of the automaker bailouts, whereas 72 percent of Republicans disapprove. A majority (55 percent) among Independents and “other” Americans also disapprove.
The variation in perception of bailout efficacy across partisan identification is clearly troubling. This question did not ask about what people expect to result from the policy, but rather their perception of an actual policy outcome. When different political groups consider the same facts and information and come to widely different conclusions, it calls into question how meaningful compromise can be achieved in the political process.
It is also true that most Americans don't set aside the time to keep tabs on the automakers. These results suggest that the media should devote more effort to discussing the actual benefits and costs associated with the automaker bailouts. Consequently, more Americans would understand the facts rather than merely the intentions of these policies and hopefully would close the perception gap between political groups.
Looking back, was it a good idea or a bad idea for the federal government to provide bailout funding for General Motors and Chrysler?
Source: Rasmussen Reports, October 3, 2011 http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/business/federal_bailout/september_2011/51_still_say_bailouts_of_gm_and_chrysler_were_a_bad_idea
Rasmussen Methodology: The national survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on September 25-26, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC . See methodology.