Friday, May 14, 2021
A new poll shows bipartisan support for President Joe Biden’s infrastructure and care plan in key states, according to Data for Progress.
From the end of April to early May, Data for Progress, a think tank and political advocacy group, surveyed an average of 642 likely voters in each of 10 key states - Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
The survey measured the support for Biden’s Build Back Better agenda, including the American Rescue Plan, American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan.
The majority of likely voters in all 10 states supported the American Rescue Plan. In Arizona, 72% supported the plan, with most giving credit to the Democratic Party for passing provisions including vaccine distribution, stimulus checks and expanded child tax credit.
The poll also showed net positive support for The American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan in all 10 states, even when voters were told the plans would be paid for raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy.
“The idea that paying for these plans is unpopular is patently incorrect. In fact, those provisions actually make people more supportive of the idea,” said Sean McElwee, executive director for Data for Progress.
In Arizona, 68% of support the American Jobs Plan and a little more than half of those who self-identified as Republicans support the plan. About 80% of likely voters in Arizona supported the proposed investments in physical infrastructure, lead pipe removal and long-term care.
Almost two-thirds of Arizona’s likely voters support the American Families Plan, including 36% of Republican voters. A little more than half oppose it, with 10% responding “I don’t know.” Overall, voters in Arizona supported the plan, with the majority supporting provisions like paid family and medical leave, the most popular provision with a minimum of 65% support in all 10 states, along with insurance subsidies and childcare.
Despite the mostly bipartisan support among likely voters in key states for the plan, the majority of Republicans in Congress oppose both plans. “Trojan horse” was used to describe the infrastructure plan they believe is Socialist. There are also concerns over the costs and payments of the plans with the American Families Plan is estimated to add an additional $1.8 trillion in cost to the already $2 trillion infrastructure plan.
For the American Families Plan, respondents were told the plan would be paid for by raising taxes on Americans who earn more than $400,000 a year and increasing the capital gains tax on individuals earning more than $1 million a year.
Executive Director Rahna Epting of MoveOn, a progressive public advocacy group, emphasized the need to address “long-standing inequities and burdens within our economic fabric” and that we cannot go back to the way things were before the pandemic when so many were struggling.
“Most importantly, we can no longer afford to allow corporations and the wealthiest of Americans, many of whom profited greatly during this pandemic, to not to not pay their fair share” said Epting. “We are all in this together, and they too must do their part to invest in our economy to rebuild this country. It is long past time they paid their fair share.”
Epting and fellow members of the Real Recovery Now coalition looked at the poll as confirmation that bipartisan support for the plans exists, despite Republican opposition.
“Especially given what we've lived through, voters understand that we can not have a full economic recovery without addressing the care economy. The childcare workforce has always been underpaid and undervalued and parents have never received the financial support they need to pay for childcare,” said Lorella Praeli, co-president of Community Change, a national organization advocating for low-income people of color. “We know that parents need safe, affordable, high-quality care for their children, so they can go to work and keep the economy moving.”
She said since the pandemic began, nearly 3 million women have lost their jobs, and women of color have been hit the hardest, with one in four unemployed during the pandemic. Those women cited the lack of childcare as the reason for remaining unemployed.
Ai-jen Poo, a senior advisor of Care in Action, a nonprofit fighting for the domestic workers in the U.S. (who are mostly women), said care policies were popular prior to the pandemic.
“Millions of us were already struggling to afford child care, to take paid leave or to find homecare to support our aging loved ones or our loved ones with disabilities as we work,” said Poo. “The pandemic just brought a simmering care crisis to a boil, as families were unable to piece it together the way that they had before, with the majority of the burden falling on women and women of color.”
Epting said the bills are unlikely to pass with a bipartisan vote and are expected to go straight to reconciliation, meaning the plans could pass with a simple majority vote.
“We know that Republicans are going to do what they always do. They're going to obstruct the process so that they can obstruct progress for the American people. They can continue to rally around corporations and the rich and prevent all of what we voted for from becoming law,” Epting said. “They're no longer the serious governing party and we should not be treating them as such.”