New Poll: South Carolinians want Financial Reform

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There have been few issues in recent memory that have united Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters. Tough Wall Street reform is an issue that transcends party lines, and connects almost everyone through the dire need of stricter regulations.

Wall Street reform has almost universal support from voters in the key 2020 early states, including in South Carolina, according to a new poll commissioned by nonpartisan groups Americans for Financial Reform and the Center for Responsible Lending. Historically, Democrats arguing for Wall Street regulations have mostly been par for the course, but notably Republicans and independents are not far behind in their fervor. 95 percent of Democrats, 88 percent of independents, and 85 percent of Republicans say that the regulation of financial services is an important voting factor; 94% of South Carolina Democratic primary voters agree with this sentiment.

Regardless of party affiliation, the effects of the 2008 financial crisis are still being felt. 73 percent of voters believe regulations put in place after the ‘08 crisis need to be expanded; 81 percent of South Carolinians agree. Only 11 percent said that the current regulations are adequate.

Indeed, since 2008, Wall Street has engaged in a long string of abuses that have left the public wanting more, not less. Bank of America engaged in rampant mortgage fraud. Wells Fargo jammed its own customers with fake accounts, among many other misdeeds. JPMorgan Chase incurred $6 billion in losses due to reckless trading. Banks manipulated benchmark interest rates. It’s the same old story, and loose Wall Street regulations allow it to get repeated.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was founded in 2011 as a measure to protect consumers from cheaters and scammers on Wall Street and ensure the Great Recession would not be repeated. It’s supposed to prevent deceptive, unfair and abusive practices by banks and other financial services. When informed of the CFPB’s mission, 76 percent of all voters supported it.

Unfortunately, the current leadership at the CFPB is now acting in contrary to its original mission.The CFPB’s Wall Street financial interests have given them reason to put profits over people by reducing efforts to protect students, homeowners, military, and other consumers. When made aware of the CFPB’s recent actions, 70 percent of Democratic primary voters in the early states are concerned – a majority of Republicans are concerned as well.

It remains to be seen if a candidate’s position on Wall Street reform will be a major make-or-break factor leading up to the primaries. What is already clear is that candidates who include strengthening Wall Street regulations in their platform are associating themselves with the majority of voters. The 2020 candidates who have yet to address Wall Street reform need to do so soon, because the data shows that people on both sides of the political spectrum will be considering their financial future when they head to the voting booth next year.