July 15, 2013
AAF Releases New Poll of Public Attitudes on Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Housing Reform
WASHINGTON – The American Action Forum (@AAF) today released the results of unique new survey research examining public attitudes on housing finance and potential regulatory reform measures of government-sponsored enterprises (GSE’s). Among the key findings, the survey found that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are widely recognized (name recognition of 72%), are viewed extremely unfavorably (20% favorable/52% unfavorable), and there is majority support for phasing out the housing giants (52%).
The poll, conducted by Wes Anderson of On Message Inc, conducted June 17-20th, used a sample of 1200 likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.82%. The survey was conducted of voters in 18 congressional districts across the U.S.. To gain a better feel for the role of political ideology, the survey was broken into three different groups: those in conservative districts, districts that lean Democratic, and swing districts.
As Anderson writes in his key findings memo, “The debate over the future of Fannie and Freddie starts with both organizations at near toxic levels of negativity among the voters. Even a majority of Democrat voters are negative toward both entities. Voter opinions about Fannie and Freddie and their future all but collapse when reminded about the massive nature of taxpayer bailouts they received.”
“We have known for years that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac played central roles in the 2008 financial crisis and the right policy course is to be phase them out,” said AAF President Douglas Holtz-Eakin regarding the findings. “It is fascinating to see that, across party lines, the public also shares this view.”
Among other findings, when informed that Fannie and Freddie played an instrumental role in the housing bubble and received nearly $200 billion dollars in a bailout, voters’ opposition to Fannie and Freddie moves to 59%, including even 51% of Democrats. Additionally, respondents are evenly split on the effectiveness of recent banking regulations, with 38% saying they have done more harm than good and 41% saying they have been helpful.
Read the key findings memo from On Message Inc.