09/16/2013 06:07 pm ET

HUFFPOLLSTER: Americans Fear Another Financial Meltdown


Americans worry that not enough has been done to prevent another financial meltdown. They still can't make heads or tails of Obamacare. And we have new polling on the 2016 presidential frontrunners...and an explanation for why those words make you sad. This is HuffPollster update for Monday, September 16, 2013.

POST/ABC POLL: FINANCIAL SAFEGUARDS STILL INADEQUATE - Scott Clement: “More than six in 10 Americans are not confident that the country will be able to avoid another crisis, with big majorities saying Washington and Wall Street have not done enough to thwart another collapse. The pessimistic outlook is colored by a dour take on progress: 54 percent of Americans sense little or no economic improvement since the worst of the financial crisis, and only one in 10 believe the economy is “a great deal” better….Majorities across the partisan spectrum say government and banks have not taken necessary steps to stop a future crisis, although Republicans are far more critical of government’s role than Democrats. Fully 79 percent of Republicans say the federal government has not taken adequate measures to stop another crisis, compared with 55 percent of Democrats and 68 percent of independents. By contrast, roughly six in 10 Democrats and Republicans alike view banks as delinquent in making efforts to prevent another financial crisis.” [WaPost]

Obama mistrusted, but less so than GOP - As Barack Obama today marks the anniversary of the Lehman Brothers collapse by heralding economic gains, 51 percent disapprove of how he’s handled the economy, vs. 45 percent who approve. Obama hasn’t received majority approval for his economic stewardship in ABC/Post polls since November 2009, back in the first year of his presidency. But there’s skepticism to share. Despite his weak rating, Obama narrowly leads the Republicans in Congress in trust to handle the economy, 44--38 percent. [ABC]

OBAMACARE REMAINS LITTLE-LIKED, LITTLE-UNDERSTOOD - HuffPost: “The Affordable Care Act is more unpopular than ever, with those who disapprove divided over whether the law should be reformed or scrapped, according to a Pew Research/USA Today poll released Monday. Forty-two percent of Americans approved of the law, while 53 percent disapproved. That's the highest rate of disapproval that Pew has found since the law's passage in 2010. Attitudes among the uninsured were somewhat more positive, with 49 percent approving and 46 percent disapproving….Those who disapproved of the health care law split on what lawmakers should do next: 27 percent of all respondents said lawmakers should try to make Obamacare work as well as possible, and 23 percent said they [should] seek to make it fail....More than three years after the Affordable Care Act was passed, 34 percent still said they didn't have a good understanding of how the law affects them.” [HuffPost]

Who wants to see Obamacare fail? While Republicans, especially Tea Party members, want their lawmakers to bring down the law, independents feel otherwise. Greg Sargent: “Only 23 percent of independents are in the “make it fail” category. Among independents overall, 36 percent support the law, while 58 percent oppose it (yes, Obamacare polls very badly). That 58 in opposition, though, breaks down into 32 percent who want lawmakers to make the law work versus the 23 percent who are advocating for failure. (Discrepancies in totals are the result of “don’t know” respondents.) What that means is that a total of 68 percent of independents either supports the law or opposes it but wants lawmakers to make it work.” [WaPost]

POLLS FIND SUPPORT FOR DIPLOMACY IN SYRIA, BUT SKEPTICISM THAT IT WILL WORK - Emily Swanson: “Americans are skeptical that diplomatic efforts in Syria will result in the Syrian government surrendering its chemical weapons, according to two new polls released Monday. The polls also found Americans broadly support diplomatic approaches to the Syrian conflict. According to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll conducted Sept. 13 and Sept. 14, 11 percent of respondents said it's likely Syria will give up its chemical weapons, and 29 percent said it was somewhat likely. On the other side, 28 percent said it's not very likely, and 16 percent said it's not at all likely. A Pew Research Center poll conducted Sept. 12 to Sept. 15 found similar skepticism, with 26 percent of respondents saying that Syria will give up its chemical weapons in response to diplomacy and 57 percent saying it won't. Each poll found broad support among Americans for the Obama administration's diplomatic efforts. ” [HuffPost]

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MONDAY'S OUTLIERS' - Links to more news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:

-A Boston Globe/UNH poll finds no clear leader in the Boston mayor's race. [Boston Globe]

--60 percent of Americans approve the job John Kerry is doing as Secretary of State. [Gallup]

--63 percent of adult cell phone owners use their phones to go online, up from 31 percent in 2009. [Pew Research]

-GOP pollster Gene Ulm summarizes where the political environment for 2014 stands. [POS]

-Frank Newport considers what the Syrian situation tells us about ow public opinion influences leaders' policy decisions. [Gallup]

-Carl Bialik reviews disputes over the details of statistics about Syria. [Wall Street Journal]

-Hillary Clinton is a 2016 primary frontrunner; no clear leader among GOP. [CNN]

-Hearing the words ‘2016 frontrunners’ will make you depressed, a fake study finds. [The Onion]