Take On Wall Street Poll: Voters Support Efforts to Fight Lending Discrimination

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To:          Interested Parties
From:    Celinda Lake, Daniel Gotoff, and Hayley Cohen, Lake Research Partners
Robert Carpenter, Chesapeake Beach Consulting
RE:          Support for Policies and Candidates who hold Financial Companies Accountable for Discrimination
Date:     May 10th, 2018

A recent nationwide survey of likely 2018 voters in key battleground Congressional districts, including an oversample of potential surge voters in those districts, reveals overwhelming, broad-based, and intense support for holding financial companies accountable for discriminatory practices.[1] Likely voters are defined as voters with regular midterm vote history (allowing for some inclusion of new registrants since the last midterm), while surge, or drop-off, voters are defined as voters with Presidential vote history, but uneven or no midterm vote history.

For both audiences, nearly 9-in-10 support a proposal to hold to account financial companies that deny loans, charge higher interest rates, or engage in other discriminatory practices, based on a person’s race. This policy is the top-testing proposal, with supermajorities of every major subgroup in the data strongly supporting it, including voters in Congressional districts rated by Cook Political Report as Lean and Likely Republican.

This survey data comes at a crucial time, as the House of Representatives voted earlier this week to repeal regulations to protect consumers against auto lenders that charge minorities higher fees for their car loans. These strong, bi-partisan findings show not only that 2018 voters are supportive of holding industries to account for discriminatory practices, but also that they are willing to vote on it. Indeed, Congressional candidates running this cycle have a unique opportunity to marry the top-of-mind issues of racial discrimination and the outsized power of the financial industry to appeal to voters of all backgrounds in key battleground districts.

Key Findings:

  • Overwhelming majorities of nearly every group of voters support “holding financial companies accountable if they discriminate against people because of their race or ethnicity”. This includes 88% of all likely voters (including 77% who support the proposal strongly) and 87% of surge/drop-off voters (83% strongly); 94% of Democrats (92% strongly), 89% of independents (83% strongly), and 81% of Republicans (64% strongly); 94% of voters in Likely/Lean Democratic districts (89% strongly), 89% of voters in Tossup districts (77% strongly), 81% of voters in Lean Republican districts (68% strongly), and 89% of voters in Likely Republican districts (81% strongly).

Support for holding financial companies accountable for discrimination

Group                                                                       % Strongly Support

White                                                                                 77
African American                                                              86
Latinx                                                                                84
Men < 50                                                                          80
Men 50+                                                                           73
Women < 50                                                                      83
Women 50+                                                                     76
Dem in 2016                                                                    92
Ind/DK in 2016                                                              83
GOP in 2016                                                                    64
Clinton in 2016                                                               94
Trump in 2016                                                                62
Likely/Lean D Congressional District                           89
Tossup CD                                                                       77
Lean R CD                                                                       68
Likely R CD                                                                     81


Voters are ready to make discrimination on the part of the financial industry a voting issue. Impressive majorities of voters, including along partisan lines, say they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supports ending racial discrimination in lending: 76% of likely voters (including 61% who say they are much more likely) and 84% of surge/drop-off voters (69% much more likely); 74% of Democrats (65% much more likely), 81% of independents (63% much more likely), and 73% of Republicans (59% much more likely); 84% of voters in Likely/Lean Democratic districts (69% much more likely), 72% of voters in Tossup districts (57% much more likely), 78% of voters in Lean Republican districts (64% much more likely), and 73% of voters in Likely Republican districts (58% much more likely).

  • Moreover, majorities of all partisan subgroups in the survey consider an argument highlighting discrimination of people of color by big banks and Wall Street firms as a convincing reason to support tougher reforms on Wall Street.
Response to Anti-Discrimination Messaging
“Whether white, black, or brown, we all want to build a better future for our children. But big banks and Wall Street firms are rigging the rules of our economy, and targeting minority families for predatory lending and higher interest rates for their car loans and mortgages. Instead of giving Wall Street more tax breaks, we need to hold them accountable for their discriminatory actions which create mountains of debt for hardworking women, African Americans, and Latinos.”[2]
Group % Total Convincing % Very Convincing
Likely Voters 69 44
Drop off Voters 79 52
Democrats 84 60
Independents 71 48
Republicans 53 27
Likely/Lean Democrat Districts 81 56
Tossup Districts 69 41
Lean Republican Districts 70 45
Likely Republican Districts 65 40


While progressive energy builds in anticipation of the midterm elections and anticipation of a blue wave grows stronger, the Republican Congress has proven woefully out of touch with voters of every political stripe on this key issue. Across partisanship as well as across different types of battleground district, voters want to ensure that financial companies are held accountable for discriminatory practices and are resolved to reward candidates who help accomplish that goal.


[1] Lake Research Partners designed and administered this survey, which was conducted by phone using professional interviewers. The survey reached a total of 1,000 likely 2018 General Election voters in battleground Congressional districts, including an oversample of 350 potential surge/drop-off voters. The list of districts was defined as the 100 battleground districts listed by Cook Political Report. The survey was conducted April 28th through May 7th, 2018 and has a margin of error of +/- 3.1%.

[2] Message was read to respondents after they were asked whether they supported or opposed the proposal.