Independents Disapprove of Obama’s Handling of Housing Crisis

 

Photo: BusinessInsider.com

 

 

A new poll shows that independent voters in five swing-states, three of which are among the hardest hit by foreclosures and unemployment, disapprove of President Obama’s leadership throughout the housing crisis.

A Public Policy Polling survey recently conducted on behalf of Campaign for Fair Settlement found that a majority of independents in Arizona, Nevada and North Carolina and a near majority in Pennsylvania and Florida disapprove of the way Obama handled the housing and mortgage crisis. The poll surveyed 600 likely voters in each state from April 30 to May 1.

In Arizona, 54 percent of independent likely voters disapproved of President Obama’s housing crisis response. A whopping 70 percent of independents in Nevada share that view. Florida, one of the hardest hit states after the housing bubble burst, shows a 49 percent disapproval rating of the president’s housing policies among independents. In North Carolina and Pennsylvania, 56 percent and 48 percent of independents respectively disapproved.

“The president should heed the message independent voters are sending and show stronger leadership on housing,” said CFS campaign manager Nish Suvarnakar. “Obama can help homeowners, his campaign and the overall economy by more aggressively pursuing the banks’ criminal acts and supporting meaningful solutions for underwater homeowners.”

The polls also showed that a majority of all likely voters disapprove of President Obama’s housing leadership in Florida (50%), Arizona (54%), and Nevada (54%). The president’s approval rating on housing among all likely voters fairs best in North Carolina where 46% disapprove.

Other key findings include:

  • A majority of independent likely voters in all five states (ranging from 60% in NC and FL to 73% in Nevada) believe that Obama has not done enough to hold banks accountable for their role in the housing collapse.
  • A majority of independents polled in each state (ranging from 64% in NC to 76% in PA) believe that the economic crisis results at least in part by criminal actions by Wall Street executives.

“Years after banks committed widespread fraud that led to both the housing crisis and a recession, homeowners have been left to clean up the mess while not a single bank executive has faced criminal charges,” said Suvarnakar. “Majorities of independent voters in swing states think it’s time for Obama to stand up for homeowners and hold banks accountable.”

In the polls, a majority of Democrats approved of Obama on housing while much stronger majorities of Republicans disapproved.

Lending service reform hasn’t shown itself to be as polarizing as other issues, but the timing and methodology behind enacting policies to help distressed homeowners is fueling partisan rifts.

Such is the case in California where a Democrat controlled legislature is leap-frogging opposition to advance a “Homeowners Bill of Rights.” With the measure, State Attorney General Kamala Harris wants to codify into California law certain provisions reached in a nationwide settlement between the country’s five largest banks and 49 states’ attorneys general.

The proposed legislation in California would prohibit lenders from foreclosing on homeowners who make timely applications for loan modifications and mandate that banks establish a single-point of contact for borrowers. One of the more controversial parts of Harris’ plan would allow borrowers to sue banks over irregularities in loan proceedings.