As far as the $25 billion loan sought by the Big Three automakers, this poll tested pro and con arguments – noting that proponents say it's necessary to protect auto workers and save a key part of the U.S. economy, while opponents say it's an underserved bailout and these companies would be better off reorganizing under bankruptcy laws.
Given those positions, 35 percent favor the proposal, with 57 percent, as noted, opposed. Support runs highest among lower-income Americans (44 percent of those with less than $35,000 in household incomes) and among Democrats (42 percent).
Two factors may make it an especially hard sell: Not only do six in 10 Republicans oppose the loan, so do six in 10 independents; and exactly twice as many Americans "strongly" oppose it (36 percent) as strongly support it. Forty-eight percent of Republicans and 38 percent of independents are "strongly" opposed, well more than the 22 percent of Democrats who strongly support it.
Congressional leaders last week told the automakers to come up with a more detailed plan; Obama, likewise, has said they need to clarify how much money they need, and how they'd use it.
METHODOLOGY: This ABC News poll was conducted by telephone Nov. 19-23, 2008, among a random national sample of 1,003 adults. The results have a 3-point error margin. Sampling, data collection and tabulation by TNS of Horsham, Pa.