WASHINGTON — Most U.S. voters, including those who identify as Republicans, support the Dodd-Frank financial reform law and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, according to a poll conducted in late June and commissioned by consumer advocates.
The poll of 1,000 likely voters, which was roughly divided in thirds between Democrats, independents and Republicans, found that 74% supported the CFPB and its mission. That included 66% of those who identified as Republicans, 77% of those who claimed to be independents and 85% of those who identified as Democrats. Only 15% of all respondents said they opposed the CFPB.
“The poll makes clear that consumers want transparency and accountability on Wall Street and they want the CFPB’s work to continue without interference,” said Mike Calhoun, president of Center for Responsible Lending, which commissioned the poll along with Americans for Financial Reform.
Lisa Donner, executive director of Americans for Financial reform, said that "the American public, across lines of party, want Congress and the administration to protect the progress made in Dodd-Frank, and do more — not less — so the financial system works to the benefit of ordinary Americans."
The survey also attempted to gauge support for the CFPB’s recently finalized arbitration rule, which would make it easier for consumers to form or join class-action lawsuits.
The survey offered respondents two ways to describe the arbitration regulation: a “rule that guarantees your right to join with others in lawsuits against big banks and payday lenders that commit fraud and break the law” or a “rule to allow class actions against banks and other lenders” that “will just lead to frivolous lawsuits filed by greedy trial lawyers that drive up consumer costs.”
Sixty-six percent of the respondents said the first statement more accurately reflected their position on the arbitration rule, while only 19% said they viewed the rule as leading to more frivolous lawsuits.
The breakdown was a little more even with Republicans; 55% of Republicans said they support the first description, while only 30% said they viewed the rule as leading to frivolous lawsuits.
The polling could be informative as Republicans look to push a resolution to reject the CFPB rule using the Congressional Review Act. The measure would require support from only 50 Senate Republicans and Vice President Mike Pence, but it's not clear whether Republicans have the necessary support or time on the legislative calendar.
The survey was conducted by Lake Research Partners and Chesapeake Beach Consultants between June 24 and June 29.