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Net Net: Promoting innovation and managing change

Obama's approval rating on Wall Street: 17%

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It's well known that the financial community has tilted right in recent years, but a new poll reveals just how much Wall Street is dissatisfied with President Barack Obama.

Just 17 percent of respondents to a poll by brokerage firm ConvergEx Group approve of Obama's job performance; 73 percent said they disapprove. That view is far more negative that the rest of the country, which gives the president a 41 percent approval rating, according to separate polls.

Half of Wall Street survey respondents gave the President a "D" or "F" grade on his handling of the financial services industry.

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Views of Congress are even worse. Just 8 percent of people who took the poll approved of the lawmakers, with 81 percent disapproving, according to ConvergEx. On financial services issues, 46 percent give Congress a "D" or "F."

"We are looking at the worst relationship between the financial services industry and Washington in living memory," Nicholas Colas, ConvergEx's chief market strategist, said in a statement. "You would have to go back before the modern era of regulation to find comparable antagonism toward the federal government from Wall Street."

A strong Republican showing in the upcoming elections could move the markets up.

A majority of respondents said stocks would respond positively to a GOP win, with eight of nine market sectors, especially energy and financials, benefiting. Health care is likely to benefit from Democratic victories, according to the poll.

"This survey points to hope by the end of the year, as respondents think a Republican win will lead to a rally in most sectors," Colas added. "With approval ratings currently so low they can only go up, this election could be a turning point in the relationship between Wall Street and Washington."

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The ConvergEx survey was made up of 186 online respondents from Oct. 21 to Oct. 23 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 10 percent.

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Wall Street's political giving is more nuanced. About 62 percent of midterm contributions from the finance, insurance and real estate community have gone to Republicans, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Overall, the amount given, more than $420 million, is a record for a midterm election, which historically attract less than presidential election cycles.

A recent Wall Street Journal analysis of Federal Election Commission filings also found that political action committees created by businesses have recently shifted right, with 58 percent of money going to Republicans from July to September. Democrats had gotten 61 percent of donations through June.

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