Americans Knowledgeable about Occupy Wall Street Protests With Limited Optimism about Potential Effect on U.S. Policy

MEDIA, Pa.--()--Social Science Research Solutions (SSRS) surveyed 1,003 Americans between October 26 and 30th to better understand attitudes and knowledge about the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York and other cities. The study was conducted as part of SSRS’s weekly omnibus survey, EXCEL.

A large majority (68%) of Americans say they have heard or read some or a lot of information about the Occupy Wall Street Protests and rallies. Thirty-two percent say they have not heard much or have heard nothing at all.

Unemployed respondents are less likely than those with full or part-time jobs to say they have heard at least some information about Occupy Wall Street, with 72% of the employed saying they have heard some information and 56% of the unemployed reporting the same degree of exposure to information about the protests.

When those who have heard any information about Occupy Wall Street were asked which comes closest to the Occupy Wall Street Protestor’s main message: (1) Too few people control the majority of the nation’s wealth or (2) There is too much regulation on business and industry, 66% of respondents said the main message is that too few people control the majority of the nation’s wealth. This provides some evidence that there is a clear message coming out of the protests and one that is being comprehended by a majority of Americans.

There is a partisan divide in understanding of this message, however. Seventy-three percent of Democrats selected the message that came closest to the actual one espoused by the protestors, but only 57% of Republicans selected this option. More Republicans than Democrats say that either the protestors’ message is that there is too much regulation of business and industry or that they do not know the main message of the protests (40% of Republicans vs. 25% of Democrats).

When asked how likely they think it is that Occupy Wall Street will have any influence on U.S. government policy, 43% of those who had heard any information about the protests say they think it is at least somewhat likely that they will. Only 10% think it is very likely. Here again, there is a clear difference by political party identification with 52% of Democrats and 29% of Republicans saying the protesters are at least somewhat likely to influence policy.

EXCEL is a national weekly, dual-frame bilingual telephone survey designed to meet the standards of quality associated with custom research studies. Each EXCEL survey consists of a minimum of 1,000 interviews, of which 300 interviews are completed with respondents on their cell phones and at least 30 are conducted in Spanish, assuring unprecedented representation on an omnibus platform. Completes are representative of the United States population of adults 18 and older. Data in this press release are based on a national sample size of 1,003 with a margin of error of +/-3.5%. Question text and full results as well as a detailed methodological report can be found at www.ssrs.com.

Contacts

Social Science Research Solutions
Susan Sherr, 484-840-4391
Cell Phone: 215-704-0626
ssherr@ssrs.com

Contacts

Social Science Research Solutions
Susan Sherr, 484-840-4391
Cell Phone: 215-704-0626
ssherr@ssrs.com