Monday, October 10, 2011

Poll finds majority of Americans aware of Occupy Wall Street protests

From: The Hill's Blog Briefing Room

More than half of all Americans have heard of the Occupy Wall Street movement and more have a positive than negative view of the protests, according to a new ORC International Caravan/CNN poll released Monday.

The protests, which began nearly a month ago and heave spread across the country, are seen favorably by 27 percent of those polled, who say they agree with the movement's position on the financial system. Meanwhile, 19 percent say they disagree with the movement, and 54 percent say they have no opinion.

Those who use social media were more likely to support the goals of the movement, with a full third of those respondents saying they agreed with the group's overall position. Only 14 percent of social media users said they did not support the protesters.

Politicians have taken note of the protests, casting them as symptomatic of some of the partisan divides that lawmakers are grappling with.

Republican presidential nominee Herman Cain denounced the protesters as "jealous" and playing the "victim card" in appearances Sunday. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) called the protests "mobs," and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said he worried that the movement could soon turn violent.

But Democrats were more sympathetic. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sent out a fundraising email Monday asking supporters to sign a petition in support of the protesters. President Obama said during a news conference last week that the movement reflected "broad-based frustration about how our financial system works."

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