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MEMORANDUM TO: American Action Forum FROM: Wes Anderson DATE: 7/15/13 RE: Survey of Public Viewpoints on Policy

Toward Fannie/Freddie Methodology The following survey was conducted by OnMessage Inc. within 18 congressional districts. Telephone interviews were conducted June 17-20, 2013. This survey consists of 1,200 likely voters. Interviews were stratified by previous election results to reflect historic voter trends. The margin of error for this survey is +/- 2.82%. We recently came out of the field with a survey for American Action Forum of 18 congressional districts across the United States, investigating various regulatory reform measures for the financial services industry currently being discussed in Congress. These districts were broken into three groups to gain an understanding of the views of different parts of the population. The groupings were as follows: conservative districts, districts where Romney garnered less than 47% (R in D seats), and pure swing districts. Overarching Findings: The Fannie Mae / Freddie Mac surprise. o We were surprised that a large majority of the voters have a hard ID of Fannie and Freddie. They are viewed favorably by only 20% and unfavorably by 52%. This is a net negative -32, with even a net negative -12 among Democrats. Coming out of the financial crisis of 2008, Fannie and Freddie took on the role of central villains and have not recovered. The public image of these two entities is nearly toxic! Greatest concern with Wall Street & the banking industry. o 52% of the voters said that their greatest concern is either no accountability of banks and Wall Street or that Wall Street banks are so big that if they fail the taxpayers will have to bail them out again. Somewhat surprisingly, the biggest issue the voters have with Wall Street is not directly related to consumer products or services, but rather the sway Wall Street has over our economy. That finding is echoed throughout the survey and helps explain why the fear of further, massive bailouts of Wall Street firms is both pervasive and persuasive.

Bailout and Response: Bailout Policy o By a small margin (+11) voters are still unfavorable toward the bank bailouts of TARP. However, voters within the R in D seats are fairly evenly split. Effectiveness of banking regulations. o Voters are split on the effectiveness of recent banking regulations (38% more harm than good / 41% been helpful). More importantly, neither supporters nor opponents of these new regulations reach 50%. The real finding here is that the voters know very little of this subject and therefore have not formed an opinion on the matter.

Fannie/Freddie Policy Fannie & Freddie phase out. o A majority favor (52%) phasing out both Fannie and Freddie with even a plurality of voters in R in D seats supporting phase out. At the start of this debate Fannie and Freddie have few friends among the voters. Fannie / Freddie informed favorability. o When informed that Fannie and Freddie played an instrumental role in the housing bubble and received nearly $200 billion dollars in a bailout, voters opposition to Fannie and Freddie moves to 59%, including even 51% of Democrats. These arguments are particularly potent in shaping public opinion on Fannie and Freddie. Additionally, the notion that Fannie and Freddie could require more public money in future bailouts is unacceptable to a sizable majority of the voters. Arguments for Fannie / Freddie phase out. o The following two arguments were the most prominent in support of phase out.
Conservative Districts 58/22 Rep in Dem Seats 57/26 Swing Districts

Message While the taxpayers were bailing them out, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were committing accounting fraud while their executives were receiving millions of dollars in bonuses Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have required massive taxpayer bailouts and should be phased out because homeowners who are struggling to pay their own mortgage shouldnt be forced to pay for their neighbors mortgage too.

Overall

57/24

56/26

56/23

57/21

56/26

55/24

Summary The debate over the future of Fannie and Freddie starts with both organizations at near toxic levels of negativity among the voters. Even a majority of Democrat voters are negative toward both entities. Voter opinions about Fannie and Freddie and their future all but collapse when reminded about the massive nature of taxpayer bailouts they received.
Wes Anderson is a leading national pollster with 20 years of experience in opinion research. As a founding partner Wes now leads the polling divisions of OnMessage Inc. and OnMessage Sports, providing political and corporate clients with a full spectrum of quantitative and qualitative opinion research products. You can read more about Wes Anderson at onmessageinc.com.