The majority of Americans, 58%, want government action to prevent foreclosures, whereas 34% prefer the housing market resolve its problems on its own, according to a new Gallup poll that shows a sharp divide between Democrats and Republicans on the issue.

The Gallup poll shows 76% of Democrats and 61% of independents favor government action while only 31% of Republicans favor federal intervention.

Americans who make more than $90,000 per year were less likely to want government intervention to prevent foreclosures, but 52% of that group still favored some action, while 62% of those making less than $90,000 favored some federal action to stem foreclosures.

In the survey, 51% expressed worry about home values. The number was higher (57%) among only current homeowners.

Only 66% of Americans in the survey said they own their primary residence, down from 73% in 2006 and 2007 surveys, Gallup said. (Click on chart to expand.)

Results for the poll were based on telephone interviews conducted Jan. 5-8 and Jan. 14-15 with a random sample of 1,000 adults, aged 18 and older, living in the continental U.S. Samples were weighted by gender, age, race and other factors. They were selected using random-digit-dial sampling. The margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Write to Kerry Curry.

Follow her on Twitter @communicatorKLC.

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