Obama Gets 17 Percent Approval From Wall Street

Obama Gets 17 Percent Approval From Wall Street

By Adam O'Neal - October 29, 2014

Goldman Sachs’ employees and political action committee famously donated about $1 million to President Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, but that doesn’t mean the financial services industry is happy with its investment in the president. 

Obama earns a 17 percent approval rating from that sector’s members, according to a new survey from ConvergEx Group. Seventy-three percent disapprove. By comparison, Obama earns a 41.9 percent/54.7 percent approval/disapproval rating among the general public, according to the RCP polling average

Also by comparison, just 8 percent of Wall Streeters approve of Congress, and 81 percent disapprove.  

“We are looking at the worst relationship between the financial services industry and Washington in living memory,” said Nicholas Colas, ConvergEx Group chief market strategist. “You would have to go back before the modern era of regulation to find comparable antagonism toward the federal government from Wall Street.” 

(An important note: The poll’s methodology does not match industry standards. The group, which provides “global brokerage and trading-related services,” did an online survey of “financial industry participants” to gather the data. The poll of 186 respondents was conducted Oct. 21-23 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 10 percentage points. Despite the high margin of error, the poll still offers general insights to Wall Street’s attitude toward Washington.)

The survey also confirms another widely held assumption -- that Wall Street prefers Republicans in power. 

Sixty-five percent said they would vote for a Republican in their House district. Sixty-nine percent want the GOP to control the Senate. And 61 percent believe Democrats are worse than Republicans when it comes to dealing with the financial services industry. 

About 50 percent of respondents gave Obama a “D” or an “F” grade on his handling of the industry. Twenty-three percent gave him an “A,” and 26 percent said “C.” 

In September, the banking industry received its first net-positive approval rating since 2007, according to Gallup, though it remains below average among other American industries.

Adam O'Neal is a political reporter for RealClearPolitics. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @RealClearAdam.

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