Tags: Rasmussen | Bernanke

Just 21% Favor Bernanke Return to Fed

Thursday, 03 Dec 2009 11:19 AM

Ben Bernanke has begun the formal process for confirmation to a second term as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, but 41% of Americans think President Obama should name someone new to the post.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that only 21% of adults believe the president should reappoint Bernanke to another four-year term. But a sizable 39% aren’t sure what the president should do.

In July, Americans were more closely divided over Bernanke’s reappointment: 26% thought it was a good idea, while 33% felt the president should name someone new. Even then, however, 41% were undecided.

Republicans are more strongly opposed to Bernanke’s reappointment than Democrats and adults not affiliated with either of the major parties. However, investors support a second term for Bernanke by more than two-to-one over non-investors.

These findings come as a number of Rasmussen Reports’ regular economic indexes show downturns in confidence.

Bernanke’s favorables continue to fall. Only 21% have at least a somewhat favorable view of the Fed chairman now, while 38% regard him unfavorably.

His critics feel more strongly since 15% have a very unfavorable opinion of Bernanke, compared to 3% with a very favorable view. A total of 40% don’t know enough about him to even venture a soft opinion, though.

The survey found 32% still had a favorable view of Bernanke in June, a number that had held roughly steady since the Wall Street meltdown last fall. But his favorables fell six points to 26% in July.

Largely unchanged from the previous survey is the view Americans have of Bernanke in comparison to his predecessor as Fed chairman, Alan Greenspan.

A total of 17% say Bernanke has done a better job, but 44% think Greenspan was the better chairman. But 39% are not sure.

A total of 41% say the chairman of the Federal Reserve Board has too much power over the economy, but that’s down five points from 46% in June.

Only 7% say the Fed chairman doesn’t have enough power, while 29% say his level of power over the economy is about right. The survey found that 22% aren’t sure.

Whether the Fed chairman is too powerful or not, Americans remain skeptical about the Fed’s ability to keep inflation under control and interest rates down.

Only 35% are at least somewhat confident in the Fed’s ability to maintain this kind of economic control, with 8% who are very confident.

A total of 56% lack that confidence, with 35% who are not very confident and 21% who are not at all confident. These views have shifted little since mid-October.

Americans continue to be critical of another key player on the economic front, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

Some 42% of Americans say Geithner has done a poor job handling the credit crisis and federal bailout programs. But 20% rate Geithner’s performance in these areas as good or excellent.

Consumer confidence as measured by the Rasmussen Consumer Index has fallen to a four-month low.

After three months of gains, the Rasmussen Employment Index dropped more than four points in November to its lowest level since July. Just 14% of workers now say their employers are hiring, the lowest total since February.

Economic confidence among America's small business owners in the Discover Small Business Watch index plummeted in November, as more owners cited serious concerns about cash flow and saw economic conditions for their own businesses getting worse.

October’s exuberance over the short-term housing market appears to have fallen back to the levels seen for much of this year, while long-term confidence appears to be trending down.

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Ben Bernanke has begun the formal process for confirmation to a second term as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, but 41% of Americans think President Obama should name someone new to the post. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that only 21% of...
Rasmussen,Bernanke
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2009-19-03
Thursday, 03 Dec 2009 11:19 AM
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