Public support for government loans to major U.S. automakers has increased sharply since 2009. A February poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press found that 56% of people say the loans made to GM and Chrysler were mostly good for the economy; 38% say the loans were mostly bad.

In 2009, just 37% of people said the loans were mostly good for the economy, while 54% viewed them negatively. Republicans remain more skeptical than Democrats about the impact of the loans, though Republican support has nearly doubled since 2009 — from 23% then to 44% today.

A majority of Americans (55%) say the auto industry has a positive effect on the way things are going in the country, while just 29% view its impact as negative. By comparison, far more people say the auto industry is having a positive impact than say so about large corporations, banks or financial institutions. However, the auto industry is not viewed as positively as small businesses or technology companies. Read More