Most voters give Uncle Sam the thumbs-up for Sandy response

New Yorkers wait for assistance from a FEMA trailer on Coney Island after Sandy hit the area. New Yorkers wait for assistance from a FEMA trailer on Coney Island after Sandy hit the area. Bebeto Matthews/AP

Most voters were pleased with the federal government’s response to megastorm Sandy, which ravaged the East Coast in October, according to a new survey.

Fifty-five percent of likely U.S. voters rated the government’s response to the disaster good or excellent in a poll that Rasmussen Reports conducted last weekend. Survey respondents were about evenly divided over whether the federal government or the states should be responsible for post-storm recovery costs. Forty-one percent of those surveyed said Uncle Sam should play a bigger role in paying for a disaster’s aftermath, while 39 percent believed state government should take primary responsibility for footing the bill. Twenty percent of respondents said they were not sure who should pick up the bulk of the tab.

The question over who should pay more in cleanup costs reflected political affiliations. Fifty-six percent of Republicans said states should bear most of the costs associated with disaster recovery, while 51 percent of Democrats and 42 percent of those who were unaffiliated believed it was largely the federal government’s responsibility.

The survey also had some good news for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Sixty-four percent of respondents had a favorable opinion of the agency compared to just 28 percent in August 2008. After the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Democrats in particular remained very critical of FEMA for the remainder of the George W. Bush administration; now Democrats have a higher opinion of the agency than Republicans and unaffiliated voters.

The federal government pays a portion of flood insurance costs for homeowners near water, but according to the survey, 56 percent of respondents don’t think the government should contribute to flood insurance, while 31 percent said such payments should continue.

Rasmussen Reports surveyed 1,000 likely voters from Nov. 16-17.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.