Support up for auto industry bailout

Feb. 24, 2012 at 5:06 PM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- More than half of U.S. residents now believe President Obama's decision to bail out the auto industry was correct, a poll indicates.

The finding is a marked turnaround since 2009, the Pew Research Center for People & the Press said. While 56 percent of those surveyed this month said lending money to GM and Chrysler was mostly good for the economy, only 37 percent agreed with the same statement in October 2009.

This month, 38 percent said the auto bailout was mostly bad for the economy, down from 54 percent in 2009. Support among Republicans has almost doubled from 23 percent to 44 percent.

But there has been little shift in public opinion on the 2008 government loans to banks and financial institutions. While 39 percent said the loans were right, 52 percent said they were the wrong thing to do, numbers that have changed little since 2009.

Pew also found growing skepticism about regulation with 52 percent saying it usually does more harm than good, up from 45 percent in March. But few of those surveyed wanted to eliminate existing regulations in most sectors.

The poll used telephone interviews conducted Feb. 8 and Feb. 12 of 1,501 adults. The margin of error is 3 percentage points for the entire sample.

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