A clear majority of Americans oppose loaning taxpayers' money to prop up the Big Three auto companies, according to a new poll out today.
The CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey found that 61 percent are against the loans, while 36 percent support them. The poll also found 53 percent who said they don't believe that aiding the automakers would help the broader economy.
The support for the automakers appears to have dropped since last month, in part because of withering criticism of auto executives, who flew private jets to Washington to ask for money.
While opposition to the bailout is strongest in the West, where 67 percent of respondents said they were against the loans, it is firm across the country: 61 percent of those polled in the Northeast, 64 percent in the South, and 53 percent even in the Midwest, where many automakers are based, also are against the loans.
The opposition is also across political persuasion. 70 percent of Republicans, 62 percent of independents, and 55 percent of Democrats said they oppose the bailout. The survey was conducted Monday and Tuesday and has an overall margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Chrysler, Ford, and GM are seeking a total of $34 billion in federal loans to buy them time to restructure and stave off bankruptcy, which they say would cost hundreds of thousands of jobs. They presented recovery plans to Congress on Tuesday.
Committees led by Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut and Barney Frank of Massachusetts plan hearings with auto executives on Thursday, with the possibility that the lame-duck Congress could return next week to take another look at the loan requests.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.