Poll: 44 Percent Turned to Family, Friends For Help After Hurricane Sandy, Only 16 Percent to the Feds, Even Less to State Governments, Didn’t Find Those Helpful

let's look importantWhite HouseChris Christie may have enjoyed a boost in popularity in New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy, and some even blamed his embrace of Obama for Mitt Romney’s loss last November. For his part, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews couldn’t hold in his excitement about how Hurricane Sandy helped Obama in the final days of the presidential campaign.

But now a new poll shows just how overblown the idea that Americans turn to a reliable federal government after a natural disaster is. An AP/NORC poll found:

- Forty-one percent in the affected counties said they sought help from friends, family or neighbors, with about 6 in 10 of those who got the help saying it was deeply helpful.

- Sixteen percent said they contacted the federal government, and 7 percent said they contacted their state government, in the wake of the storm. Nineteen percent who sought help from the federal government said it was helpful; twice as many (38 percent) said the feds were no help at all.

- Along with friends, family and neighbors, first responders were also viewed as helpful by most in the affected areas. Sixty percent of those surveyed who turned to first responders for help said they provided quite a bit or a great deal of assistance.

- In the event a major disaster were to happen in their neighborhood today, 7 in 10 Americans say they would be able to rely a great deal or quite a bit on their local police, fire department, ambulance and other first responders for help.

- Thirty-one percent of those who asked utility companies for help reported they received at least quite a bit of help during or after the storm. Fewer called state and federal governments helpful, with 26 percent and 19 percent, respectively, reporting receiving a great deal or quite a bit of help from those sources.

President Obama’s spent a lot of time trying to link federal spending to first responders like firefighters and police officers when those are all functions traditionally performed by local governments or even volunteer groups.

The federal government, nevertheless, has been seeking to subsidize and control local government through grants more than willingly accepted by local and state politicians, and has used natural disasters like hurricanes for a long time to exaggerate its indispensability and write blank checks in times of crisis. 

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  • WTF||

    This is what pissed me off about Christie praising Obama over hurricane Sandy - Obama didn't do a goddam thing other than show up for a day-long photo-op and then piss off back to Washington. What the fuck was so wonderful about that?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    If Obama is as bad as the peanut gallery says he is look for a GOP sweep 2014-16.

    The American people are not bright but do recognize a disaster - see 2008.

  • WTF||

    BUSHPIG!!11!!!CHRISTFAG!!11!!1!

  • ||

    And nothing fixes a disaster like MORE DISASTER!!!!

  • ant1sthenes||

    Yes, if we look at how Americans voted in 2008, it's clear that they're drawn to disaster. That is what you were saying, right?

  • Marginal||

    Christie got Barry to provide all that aid by threatening to eat him.

    It's unfortunate and dignified to see The Leader of the Free World dampen his trousers in that picture. :(

  • sarcasmic||

    If you think the government is there to help, you've probably never asked it for help.

  • ||

    Every time I see Christie, all I can think is, "What a fat bastard."

  • PRX||

    get in my belly

  • Mr. Soul||

    alt-text fail. should read "Jabba & Boba Fett discuss the Solo case."

  • Paul.||

    High five.

  • Loki||

    Boba Fett is probably who Obama would most resemble in the Star Wars universe.

    1) All style, no substance.

    2) Completely incompetant compared to his image. (I mean Boba Fett basically flew into the side of Jabba's sail barge and fell into the Sarlac pit on his own. Talk about going out like a bitch).

    3) Both have rabid legions of worshiping fanboys/ cult followers insisting that they're the shit despite mountains of evidence to the contrary.

  • Rasilio||

    My wife said something very similar to me last night

  • Marc F Cheney||

    Swear to Zod, I thought that was Meat Loaf.

  • Marc F Cheney||

    HIS NAME IS ROBERT PAULSON.

  • Doctor Whom||

    Those friends, families, and neighbors? Those local governments and volunteer groups? Those utility companies? Obama didn't build that.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Well, at least Chris Matthews appreciated the government's response to Sandy. And appreciated the storm itself.

  • Skip||

    Chris Matthews and his ilk only appreciate something if there are a million pictures of it on television. They acted like Bush did nothing about Katrina just because he wasn't showboating for the MSM twats.

  • Irish||

    All this means is that we need to give more money to the feds so that they will be more helpful.

    Fucking glibertarians don't know how this works.

  • DJF||

    This can't be right, my TV told me that without FEMA everyone within a hundred miles of NYC would be dead. FEMA is like Superman, rescuing people from disasters.

  • Rasilio||

    Yeah they are so good, they don't even need to be present to save people, just knowing that FEMA is coming is enough to make people rescue themselves

  • Rasilio||

    I want to know who got the award for best alt-text?

  • LynchPin1477||

    I'm not too surprised by the trends here. I listen to Vermont Public Radio quite a bit and it seems like every week there is a story about someone affected by Irene who is still working their way through the FEMA bureaucracy. This two years after the storm hit.

  • An0nB0t||

    Chris Christie is less than a year younger than Gandolfini.

    Just saying.

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