Most Americans aware of Wall Street protests: Reuters/Ipsos

WASHINGTON Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:23pm EDT

A member of the Occupy Wall St movement holds a sign as he demonstrates in Zuccotti Park near the financial district of New York October 12, 2011. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

A member of the Occupy Wall St movement holds a sign as he demonstrates in Zuccotti Park near the financial district of New York October 12, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Lucas Jackson

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A strong majority of Americans are aware of the "Occupy Wall Street" protests against U.S. economic inequality and a majority either view them favorably or do not have an opinion about them, a Reuters/Ipsos poll said on Wednesday.

Eighty-two percent of Americans have heard of the protest movement, and 38 percent feel favorably toward it, the poll found. Thirty-five percent are undecided, and about one-fourth -- 24 percent -- are unfavorable.

Ipsos research director Chris Jackson said the large number of people who were positive or undecided reflected the mood of the country.

"People are just sort of angry," he said. "They aren't necessarily sure what they are angry about, and the protest captures that to a certain extent."

Democrats and Republicans were equally familiar with the protests, at 84 percent and 82 percent, respectively, but only 73 percent of independents were aware.

But their views are sharply divided by party. Fifty-one percent of Democrats viewed the protests favorably, versus just 11 percent who saw them unfavorably. Among independents, 37 percent had a positive view, compared with 14 percent who felt negative.

Just 22 percent of Republicans said they had a favorable view, compared with 44 percent who were unfavorable.

According to Occupy Together, which has become an online hub for protest activity, the Occupy Wall Street movement has sparked rallies in more than 1,300 cities throughout the United States and around the world.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll of 1,113 adults, including 934 registered voters, was conducted October 6-10. It surveyed 536 Democrats, 410 Republicans and 167 independents.

The margin of error was 3.0 percentage points for all respondents, 3.2 points for registered voters, 4.2 points for Democrats, 4.8 points for Republicans and 7.6 points for independents.

(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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Comments (14)
nocrime wrote:
I’m aware. But so what? What a colossal waste of time.

Oct 12, 2011 4:30pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Ciao wrote:
What a perfect example of how media bias influences public opinion. The media chose to highlight all of the negative aspects of the tea party movement, and people ended up with a negative bias towards the Tea Party. The media chooses to highlight the positive aspects of the Occupy Wall Street movement, and the public ends up with a positive view.

Oct 12, 2011 4:34pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
MaggieMP wrote:
I find the survey results interesting – thanks!

This morning’s Baltimore Sun had a reader opinion expressing conservative views on faults of Occupy world view. Essentially, the (Republican or strong conservative) criticism is that “these are young students who don’t want to work hard.” American culture has great fear of “mistakenly promoting laziness”.

I posted to the Baltimore Sun letter. Here’s a snippet of what I said: “… by naivete or intention, …. They simplistically propose: “I’m successful, so I’m proof everyone can be.” // “I did, so everyone can” rejects economic-social context at birth (and ensuing consequences). It promotes “each stands alone”, (fundamentally ‘exclusive’). // ‘Each stands alone’ disregards life and earth-care ‘social context’ responsibilities. (“Who cares what circumstances anyone was born into?”, “Who cares if products or investment income rely on slave workers?”; “Who cares if earth is trashed ‘there’ so long as ‘here’ is pleasant?”.) It’s a “winner takes all”, (exclusive) perspective. Common weal thinking, (inclusive), rejects “winner takes all”.

I hope more who are conservative but also aware of the inter-active nature of social structures, will, over time, better understand the Occupy movement.

Oct 12, 2011 5:04pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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