Poll finds 64% of voters believe stock market is rigged against them

The New York Stock Exchange in lower Manhattan.
(Mark Lennihan / Associated Press)

Nearly two-thirds of voters think the stock market is rigged against them and a majority believe Wall Street and big banks hurt average Americans, according to poll results from a pro-regulation group.

The survey by Better Markets, a nonprofit advocate for stronger financial regulations, also found that 60% of voters support stricter federal regulation of banks and other financial institutions.

About 74% of Democratic voters and 56% of independents favored tougher oversight, while just 46% of Republicans did, according to the nationwide poll of 1,000 people likely to vote in this fall’s elections.


The poll was conducted by Greenberg, Quinlan and Rosner Research, a Washington, D.C., firm that handles polling for Democratic candidates and major corporations. The poll has a margin of error of 3.5%.

The results were released Thursday in conjunction with this week’s fourth anniversary of the passage of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.

The legislation, which Congress approved with almost no Republican support, created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and enacted tough new regulations designed to prevent future financial crises and government bailouts.

The poll, however, showed that voters still are strongly dissatisfied with federal oversight of Wall Street and large banks nearly six years after the 2008 financial crisis.

About 89% of respondents said the federal government does a poor or fair job of regulating the financial industry.

“This latest poll of likely 2014 voters is a wake-up call for anyone currently in, or running for, Congress,” said Dennis Kelleher, president of Better Markets.


“They should be required to answer this question: What have you done, or will do, to effectively regulate Wall Street’s too-big-to-fail banks?” he said.

The poll found that about 64% of voters — and 62% of those who own stocks — said they agreed with the statement: “The stock market is rigged for insiders and people who know how to manipulate the system.”

About 32% of respondents, and 35% of those with stocks, said they believed the market was not rigged and “mostly fair for everyday investors,” according to the poll.

When asked if Wall Street and big banks “hurt everyday Americans,” 55% of respondents agreed and 41% disagreed.

Democrats felt most strongly that large financial firms harmed average Americans, with 62% agreeing

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