Bail Out Detroit? Democrats: Maybe; Rest Of America: NO!
August 5, 2013 by Ben Bullard
A Quinnipiac poll shows no decisive public will, even among Democrats, to involve the Federal government in whatever rescue operation may be deployed to dredge the ashes of Detroit for an economic bailout.
Only 51 percent of Democrats polled said they support a taxpayer-funded bailout, funneled through Washington, D.C., for Detroit, which is seeking bankruptcy protection over the opposition of State pensioners whose retirement funds could be decimated by court-approved write-offs of public debt.
By contrast, 73 percent of Republicans said they oppose any form of Federal bailout. And the majority opinion of Americans, regardless of their political views, is on the same side. Only 33 percent of all Americans polled said they support a government safety net for Detroit, while 57 percent said they were opposed.
The poll, which questioned 1,468 voters late last month on a number of current topics ranging from the Detroit bailout to “Stand Your Ground” laws to Congress and President
Barack Obama, showed a strong divide among various racial demographics on the extent to which the government should get involved in structuring a rescue plan for the Motor City.
With large racial and gender divisions, American voters back so-called “Stand Your Ground” laws 53 – 40 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today. Voters also say by a wide margin that the federal government should not bail out Detroit.
…Partisan and racial splits also mark American voters’ 57 – 33 percent opposition to a federal bailout of bankrupt Detroit.
Democrats back a bailout 51 – 35 percent, while opposition is 73 – 18 percent among Republicans and 65 – 28 percent among independent voters. Black voters support a bailout 57 – 36 percent, with white voters opposed 63 – 26 percent.
Once the Nation’s fourth-largest city, Detroit’s population peaked in the 1950s at more than 1.8 million. The city has lost more than 1 million residents in a gradual decline that accelerated most rapidly from 2000 to 2010, eroding its tax base and leaving behind a sprawling and expensive infrastructure to maintain. Detroit’s current population hovers slightly above 700,000.
Unrelated footnote: The Quinnipiac poll also reveals that racial demographics invert respondents’ opinions about “Stand Your Ground” laws. Whites favor “Stand Your Ground” protections for would-be crime victims by a 57 percent to 37 percent margin. Blacks, on the other hand, oppose such laws by exactly the same margin.