Two months after the Occupy Wall Street protests were launched, people in the United States are more likely to view the movement in a negative light, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.
In the online survey of a representative national sample of 1,006 American adults, 36 per cent of respondents hold a favorable opinion of the Occupy Wall Street movement, while 44 per cent have unfavorable views.
The level of animosity towards the movement increases with age, from a low of 36 per cent among respondents aged 18-to-34 to a high of 52 per cent among those over the age of 55. Democrats (49%) are more likely to view the Occupy movement in a positive light than Independents (38%) and Republicans (16%).
More than half of Americans (54%) believe some cities—including New York and Oakland—have been justified in removing the Occupy protesters from public squares and public spaces, including half of Democrats (50%) and Independents (also 50%) and a large majority of Republicans (73%).
Two-in-five Americans (43%) believe cities should set a deadline for the protesters to vacate public squares and public spaces (43%), while 15 per cent would seek legal action to remove the protesters. One-in-four Americans (24%) would take no action, and let the protests continue indefinitely.
When asked whether they would consider voting for a member of the Occupy Wall Street movement in the 2012 congressional election, 31 per cent of Americans say they would, while 42 per cent would not.
After two months of protests, middle-aged and older Americans appear to be growing impatient with the Occupy Wall Street movement. Most respondents in these two age brackets believe the decision of cities to clear protesters from public areas was justified, and the movement is only getting positive reviews from the youngest demographic—but still well short of commanding a majority.
The jump from protest to legislation appears to be a problematic proposal for Occupy Wall Street at this point, with only three-in-ten Americans saying they would consider backing one of their candidates in next year’s congressional race.
Mario Canseco, Vice President, Angus Reid Public Opinion
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Methodology: From November 15 to November 17, 2011, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 1,006 American adults who are Springboard America panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.1%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of the United States. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.