A new Democratic survey shows roughly two-thirds of voters support the health care and climate change package negotiated by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), the first public polling data on what is expected to be President Joe Biden’s signature domestic achievement.
The Navigator Research poll, conducted by the Democratic firm Global Strategy Group and obtained exclusively by HuffPost, tested both halves of the $740 billion “Inflation Reduction Act.” One questioned asked about the various ways the legislation would raise revenue ― a minimum tax on corporations and beefed-up Internal Revenue Service enforcement, while another asked about the legislation’s spending on health care and climate change mitigation.
Both questions found about two-thirds of voters supported the plan, while 24% opposed it. The plan was popular with seemingly every class of voters except Republicans, with majorities of independents, Latino voters, white voters and both college-educated and non-college-educated voters supporting it.
“The widespread support for the Inflation Reduction Act across partisanship is consistent with the steady popularity of President Biden’s economic agenda throughout Navigator’s tracking,” said Bryan Bennett, an advisor to Navigator Research. “Democrats in Congress and the White House should emphasize that the legislation will put money back in working Americans’ pockets and hold corporations accountable, and call out Republicans opposing the bill for prioritizing the wealth of their campaign donors and corporations over the needs of their constituents.”
Navigator suggested Democrats focus on what they called the “economically persuadable audience,” a group of voters who both disapprove of Biden’s handling of the economy but support the proposed legislation. That group amounts to about 3 in 10 Americans, including 42% of independents, 42% of 18- to 34-year-olds, 39% of service workers and 31% of white non-college-educated voters.
Questions about how a particular piece of legislation or issue will affect voters’ choices are notoriously tricky, but the survey found that 50% of voters said the legislation’s passage would make them more likely to vote for Democrats, while 21% said it made them less likely. Among the “economically persuadable,” 55% said it made them more likely, while just 13% said it made them less likely.
Overall, Biden’s approval rating stands at 41% in the survey ― a number broadly in line with other polls ― while 57% of voters disapprove of his performance. He fares even worse on the economy: 60% of voters disapprove, while just 38% approve.
The online survey was conducted July 28 to Aug. 1, and it polled 1,007 registered voters, plus additional Latino, Black, Asian American and independent voters.
Democrats are hoping to pass the package, which also includes $300 billion in deficit reduction and a plan to allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices, through the Senate in the coming days, though Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) has remained silent about the legislation and could torpedo their plans.