Reviews for Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and the Fed itself have improved from late last year, but both remain more disliked than liked.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely Voters shows that 36 percent view Bernanke at least somewhat favorably, while 41 percent view him unfavorably.
These findings include 7 percent who share a very favorable opinion of the Fed chairman and 18 percent of those surveyed with a very unfavorable one. Twenty-two percent of voters offer no opinion of Bernanke.
While 38 percent view the Federal Reserve favorably, 49 percent view the central banking system unfavorably, according to the survey. These numbers include very favorable reviews from 7 percent — and very unfavorable opinions from 19 percent of those surveyed. Thirteen percent have no opinion of the Fed at all.
However, favorable opinions of Bernanke this year are higher than last October’s low of 26 percent, according to the survey, though they are similar to those measured in April of last year — just days after Bernanke held the first-ever news conference by a Fed chairman.
In October 2008, however, 42 percent regarded Bernanke favorably, while 42 percent viewed him unfavorably.
Favorable reviews of the Fed itself are up slightly from 34 percent last October.
The Rasmussen Poll also found that Republicans view both Bernanke and the Fed less favorably than Democrats and voters not affiliated with any party do.
Tea Party members overwhelmingly view both Bernanke and the Fed unfavorably, while non-members are more split on both.
Meanwhile, 78 percent of the “political class” — voters who are identified as being more comfortable with trusting political leaders to govern the nation rather than with trusting the collective wisdom of the American people to do so — view Bernanke favorably. That compares with 26 percent of mainstream voters.
Similarly, while 77 percent of political class voters share a favorable opinion of the Fed, 61 percent of those in the mainstream do not.
In addition, separate polling shows that just 42 percent of Americans are at least somewhat confident the Federal Reserve can control inflation and keep interest rates down. Fifty-five percent don't share that confidence in the Fed.
And JPMorgan Chase’s $2 billion-plus loss from high-risk trades is again drawing national attention to Wall Street banks. Yet while all Americans believe the federal government is doing a poor of job monitoring the banking industry, most still aren’t convinced more regulations are needed, according to the survey.
The national survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on May 24-25 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points with a 95 percent confidence level.
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