A majority of Americans support financial regulatory reform, poll says

A majority of Americans support tighter government regulations when "Wall Street" firms are specified as the target, a new Gallup poll showed Tuesday. 

In the poll, 50 percent of Americans backed more government regulations for "Wall Street" firms versus 46 percent who want stricter controls of "large banks and major financial institutions." 

When Wall Street is mentioned 36 percent oppose stronger regulations while 43 percent oppose regulations for large banks. 

As rhetoric has heated up during the past couple of weeks on a pending financial regulatory reform bill in the Senate, 42 percent of Americans say they trust Democrats to put together a bill compared to 34 percent who trust Republicans and 25 percent who say neither, both or no opinion. 

When asked along party lines the numbers diverge. About 72 percent of Democrats support giving more power to the federal government to keep an eye on the financial system and "large financial institutions" while only 22 percent of Republicans support a change. 

When Democrats were asked specifically about Wall Street banks, 67 approved of giving government more leeway while 20 percent opposed. 

When Republicans were asked about regulating Wall Street banks, 35 percent approved of more regulations while 53 percent opposed changes, according to the poll.