Our survey, conducted by Tarrance Group, Inc., included a sample size of 800 registered “likely” voters and was conducted October 23-25, 2011. Key findings of the report are as follows:

  • 65% of respondents believe that government spending is preventing the economy from growing and creating jobs.
  • Voters throughout the country express strong opposition to the federal government providing financial subsidies to some private companies but not to others.  Nearly three quarters of voters (72%) oppose the federal government choosing which companies within a certain industry will receive financial subsidies, with a majority (53%) strongly opposing.  This strong opposition is bipartisan, reaching 70% among Independent, 66% among Democrats, and 82% among Republicans.
  • This strong opinion against subsidies for some private companies is driven by an objection to the government picking winners and losers, as 72% agree that “allowing the federal government to provide financial help to some companies and not others means the government is playing favorites by picking winners and losers in an industry.”
  • Voters are also concerned about the cost of subsidies, as nearly two thirds (65%) are more concerned that the federal government will spend too much helping energy companies, while only 26% are more concerned that some energy companies might fail without government help.  Indeed, the number two issue to voters was “government spending” (16%), second only to the economy and jobs (44%).
  • This opposition to the government picking “winners and losers” is evidenced by their negative feelings toward Solyndra, an energy company that recently filed for bankruptcy only after receiving a $535 million loan from the federal government and a public endorsement by President Obama.  Nearly two thirds (65%) agree that Solyndra going bankrupt is a “perfect example of why the federal government should not be in the role of picking winners and losers, no matter what the industry or company it is.”
  • 65% are extremely concerned or very concerned that government investments in certain industries could lead to crony capitalism and corruption.