Commentary Magazine


Poll Shows Problems for Occupy Wall Street

Occupy Wall Street activists have been claiming victory over the “narrative” recently, but according to a new USA Today/Gallup poll, most Americans are simply ignoring them:

A new USA Today/Gallup Poll shows that the “Occupy” movement has failed to capture the attention of a majority of Americans, indicating either ambivalence toward it or lack of interest.

The poll finds that 56 percent of Americans surveyed are neither supporters nor opponents and 59 percent say they don’t know enough to have an opinion about the movement’s goals.

The survey, however, does show an increase from 20 percent to 31 percent in disapproval of the way the protests are being conducted.

The poll was taken during the weekend, which means that it took place after the Occupy “Day of Action” and multiple city evictions last week. The activists hoped the evictions would sway public sentiment in their favor, but in fact, the opposite happened. Disapproval of the movement jumped by 11 percent.

The percentage of Americans who say they “don’t know enough to have an opinion” is even more striking. OWS has dominated the news, mainly because the protest campsites were magnets for reporters. Now that the movement has started getting evicted from the parks in major cities, the media attention will probably start to dry up as well. Activists will have a hard time keeping the protests relevant and in the news cycle, which means the 60 percent of Americans who say they aren’t familiar with the movement probably never will be.