Voters support rising unemployment, according to CNBC / Change poll

Reading Police Officer Bucklin helps hand out boxes of MRE. At City Light Ministries on Spruce Street in Reading on Saturday afternoon on May 2, 2020, where a large group came out for food distribution by One Luv during the coronavirus / COVID-19 outbreak.

Ben Hasty | MediaNews Group | Eagle reading via Getty Images

As Congress debates how to shape the next phase of coronavirus relief, most voters in six shifting states want lawmakers to continue the aid that fueled Americans during the early stages of the economic crisis, according to a new poll. from CNBC / Change Research.

The poll released Wednesday surveyed potential voters in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Those states, among others, will determine whether President Donald Trump can defeat his Democratic challenger Joe Biden in the November presidential election and whether Republicans remain in control of the Senate.

The poll found that a majority, or 62%, of voters in those states support extending the $ 600-a-week federal improved unemployment insurance. Only 36% are opposed to continuing the benefit, which states stopped paying last week.

The survey also found broad support in changing states for other stimulus spending measures. Four out of five respondents said they support another direct payment of up to $ 1,200 for people earning less than $ 99,000. Only 18% oppose another round of checks.

Meanwhile, 68% of voters support aid for state and local governments facing budget deficits due to the pandemic, compared to 28% who oppose aid, according to the poll. According to the survey, only 32% of respondents supported granting immunity to corporations against Covid-19 related lawsuits, while 58% oppose such protections.

The poll surveyed 2,565 likely voters in the six states Friday through Sunday. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.9 percentage points.

As Congress is divided over how much money to spend trying to fight the coronavirus-created health and economic crises, the poll shows strong support for more federal stimulus measures. The extension of unemployment insurance, assistance for states and municipalities, and a civil liability shield for businesses and doctors are among the thorniest issues officials need to resolve in ongoing conversations between Republicans and Democrats.

Negotiators hope to draft a pandemic aid bill that can be passed by both the Republican-controlled Senate and the Democrat-controlled House. The Republican Party released its opening offer on Monday. Then began talks between the Trump administration and top Congressional Democrats, Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y.

Republican legislation would reduce the additional federal unemployment benefit to $ 200 per week, in addition to what state beneficiaries receive, through September. It would then go on to replace 70% of an individual’s past wages.

The Republican Party maintains that the $ 600 per week benefit discourages people from returning to work because many recipients earn more money at home than they otherwise would have. Democrats want to extend the benefit until at least next year, saying the government should not cut income at a time when about 30 million people are still receiving some form of unemployment insurance.

The Republican direct payment plan largely reflects that passed by Congress in March as part of a $ 2 trillion rescue package. I’d send up to $ 1,200 to individuals and $ 2,400 to couples making less than $ 198,000. It would also provide $ 500 per dependent, regardless of age.

The Republican proposal would not allocate any new aid to states and municipalities, but would give them more flexibility in how they spend approved aid money earlier this year. House Democrats included nearly $ 1 billion in state and local assistance in the bill they passed in May.

In addition, it requires liability protections for companies, doctors, and schools, except in cases of “gross negligence” or “willful misconduct” when trying to operate during the pandemic. Democrats have generally opposed legal immunity for businesses.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Ky., Called the provision a “red line” in the discussions.

The negotiations have already taken on a more bitter tone than the talks that led to aid packages earlier this year, in part due to the fact that the Senate and presidential elections are just over three months away.

Biden’s lead narrows

In the presidential race, former Vice President Biden’s leadership over Trump has shrunk in changing states. The new poll shows Biden leading Trump by a 48% to 45% margin among all respondents.

Two weeks ago, he had a 49% to 43% edge.

The survey released Wednesday finds close races in the six key states:

  • Arizona: Biden 47%, Trump 45%
  • Florida: Biden 48%, Trump 45%
  • Michigan: Biden 46%, Trump 42%
  • North Carolina: Biden 49%, Trump 46%
  • Pennsylvania: Biden 48%, Trump 46%
  • Wisconsin: Biden 48%, Trump 43%

– CNBC John Schoen chart

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