Voters support rising unemployment, CNBC / Change poll finds

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As Congress debates how to shape the next phase of coronavirus relief, most voters in six vibrant states want lawmakers to continue with the aid that supported Americans during the early stages of the economic crisis, according to one. new CNBC / Change Research poll.The poll released Wednesday polled likely voters in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. These states, and others, will determine whether President Donald Trump can defeat his Democratic challenger Joe Biden in the November presidential election and whether Republicans retain control of the Senate.

A majority, or 62%, of voters in those states support extending federal unemployment insurance improved by $ 600 per week, according to the poll. Only 36% are opposed to maintaining the benefit, which the states stopped paying last week.

The survey also found broad support in the swing states for further stimulus spending measures. Four in 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 to 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 support corporate immunity from Covid-19 lawsuits, while 58% oppose such protections.

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

As Congress finds itself divided over how much to spend on trying to tackle the health and economic crises created by the coronavirus, the poll shows strong support for more federal stimulus. The extension of unemployment insurance, aid to states and municipalities, and a liability shield for businesses and doctors are among the thorniest issues officials face in the ongoing Republican-Democrat talks.

Negotiators hope to craft a pandemic aid bill that can be passed by both the Republican Senate and the Democratic-controlled House. The GOP unveiled its opening offer on Monday. Talks then began between the Trump administration and the main Democrats in Congress, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y.

Republican law would reduce the additional federal unemployment benefit to $ 200 per week, on top of what recipients receive from the states, until September. It would then move to a replacement of 70% of an individual’s previous salary.

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

The GOP’s plan for direct payments largely mirrors the one adopted by Congress in March as part of a $ 2 trillion bailout. It would send up to $ 1,200 to individuals and $ 2,400 to couples earning 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, instead giving them more flexibility in how they spend relief funds approved earlier this year. House Democrats included nearly $ 1 trillion in state and local aid in the bill they passed in May.

In addition, it calls for liability guarantees for businesses, doctors and schools, except for cases of “gross negligence” or “willful misconduct” as they attempt to operate during the pandemic. Democrats have generally opposed statutory immunity for business.

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

The negotiations have already taken on a bitterer tone than the talks that led to back-up plans earlier this year, in part due to the fact that the presidential and senatorial elections are just over three months away.

In the presidential competition, former Vice President Biden’s lead over Trump narrowed across the swing states. The new poll shows Biden leads Trump by a 48% to 45% margin among all respondents.

Two weeks ago he had a 49% to 43% advantage.

Poll released Wednesday reveals tight races in all 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%

– Graphic by John Schoen from CNBC

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