Bank bailouts still unpopular, auto bailouts less so

December 14, 2016, 7:21 PM GMT+0

Americans still largely oppose the bank bailouts during the financial crisis, but they have warmed towards aid for Detroit automakers

Donald Trump is not yet in the White House, but he has already made one of the most prominent direct government interventions to protect American jobs since the bailouts in the wake of the financial crisis. Americans tend to support the Carrier deal, but opinion was much more hostile towards bailing out the banks and automakers during the financial crisis.

Research from YouGov shows that, looking back seven years at the bailouts, the decision to help out the banks is as unpopular today as it was then, but opinion on bailing out the automakers has shifted. In 2009 net opposition to the bank bailout was 28%, and today it is 26%. In 2009, Americans opposed aid to automakers 50% to 21%, but in 2016 opinion is evenly divided, with 36% saying that they support it and 36% saying that they oppose it.

The biggest change of heart of the auto bailout was among Democrats, where support increased from 33% to 59%. Republican support for the bailouts of GM and Chrysler also increased, from 12% to 25%, but 48% of Republicans still feel that the auto bailouts were wrong.