Poll: Americans Favor Renewing $600 Unemployment Benefits

Blame over the expiration of the expanded benefits is broadly divided along partisan lines, a new HuffPost/YouGov survey finds.

Public support for renewing expanded unemployment benefits far outweighs opposition to the expanded benefits that expired last Friday, a new HuffPost/YouGov survey finds.

Earlier this year, Congress passed a law giving people added federal unemployment benefits of $600 per week due to the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. These payments lapsed over the weekend as negotiations between the White House and congressional leaders devolved into finger-pointing.

Americans say, 54% to 29%, that the expanded unemployed benefits should have been renewed. Another 17% say they’re unsure.

Democrats support the renewal of benefits 73% to 18%; Republicans are close to evenly split, with 40% saying the benefits should have been renewed and 43% that they should not have been. Within the GOP, those in households making $50,000 or less annually are more supportive than those with higher incomes.

Asked who is at least somewhat responsible for the benefits expiring, 39% of Americans say Democrats in Congress are, 41% that Republicans in Congress are, and 29% say that President Trump is at least somewhat responsible. Views are sharply polarized, with Republicans mostly attributing the lack of a deal to congressional Democrats, and Democrats largely assigning responsibility to the GOP and the White House.

About two-thirds of those polled say they’ve followed news about the benefits expiring at least somewhat closely, and 28% say they’ve followed it very closely.

Among those Americans who say that they or a household member received the expanded benefits, however, roughly half have been paying very close attention to the story. A 77% majority of those whose households received the expanded benefits say that those benefits should have been renewed.

Views of the federal government’s handling of broader coronavirus issues, meanwhile, also remains low. Just 35% of Americans approve of the federal government’s response, with 57% disapproving. Approval for Trump’s handling of the pandemic stands at a slightly higher 41%, with 52% disapproving.

The HuffPost/YouGov poll consisted of 1,000 completed interviews conducted July 31-Aug. 3 among U.S. adults, using a sample selected from YouGov’s opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population.

HuffPost has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls. You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov’s nationally representative opinion polling. More details on the polls’ methodology are available here.

Most surveys report a margin of error that represents some but not all potential survey errors. YouGov’s reports include a model-based margin of error, which rests on a specific set of statistical assumptions about the selected sample rather than the standard methodology for random probability sampling. If these assumptions are wrong, the model-based margin of error may also be inaccurate. Click here for a more detailed explanation of the model-based margin of error.

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