Poll brings good news for Occupy Wall Street

A plurality of Americans generally agree with the views of the protesters

Published October 26, 2011 2:19PM (EDT)

  (<a href='http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-264088p1.html'>FreeSoulProduction</a> via <a href='http://www.shutterstock.com/'>Shutterstock</a>/Salon)
(FreeSoulProduction via Shutterstock/Salon)

Forty-three percent of Americans generally agree with the views of Occupy Wall Street, while 27 percent don't agree, according to a new CBS/New York Times poll. The remaining 30 percent said they didn't know whether they agree with Occupy.

As Greg Sargent argues, given how young this protest campaign is, it's probably best to view this poll result as a tentative embrace of Occupy by Americans. But those numbers are still remarkable, and they clearly undermine the narrative that Occupy is somehow out of the mainstream.

Another notable finding: Asked how much they had heard or read about Occupy, 29 percent of respondents answered "not much" or "not at all." That means there's still a significant population out there that occupiers can reach.

Aaron Blake and Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post argue that the way Occupy is playing out could help Democrats in 2012:

The poll also asked which class voters thought the Obama Administration and Republicans in Congress favored. While people were pretty evenly split on whether the administration favors the middle class, the rich or the poor, they were all but unanimous about which class the Republicans favor; 69 percent said Republicans in Congress favor the rich, while just 9 percent said the middle class and 2 percent said the poor.

That’s a significant perception problem for the GOP, and the Occupy Wall Street protesters — for whatever bad press they have created and will create due to the actions of some participants — are rallying support against the very class that the GOP is thought to favor.

It's worth keeping in mind here that, whatever the politics of the matter, both major political parties are extremely cozy with Wall Street.

By Justin Elliott

Justin Elliott is a reporter for ProPublica. You can follow him on Twitter @ElliottJustin

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