In March, the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer obtained a recording of an adviser to Mitch McConnell privately lamenting, during a call with leaders of conservative groups, that the Democrats’ big voting bill, the For the People Act, has been very well surveyed. “When presented with a very neutral description,” “people were generally supportive,” the advisor said.
A new Data for Progress survey carried out as part of a partnership with Vox confirms this assessment. The poll polled 1,138 likely voters nationwide between April 16 and April 19, and it finds that much of what the 800-page bill claims to do is hugely popular.
More than 80% of respondents said they supported preventing foreign interference in elections, limiting the influence of money in politics, and modernizing electoral infrastructure to increase electoral security. Over 60 percent of respondents supported the requirement for non-partisan redistribution commissions, a 15-day advance voting period for all federal elections, same-day registration for all eligible voters, automatic registration of voters voters for all eligible voters and giving every voter the opportunity to vote by poster.
There are, of course, a few caveats. The poll presented these questions with no partisan indication of which party supports which proposal. Indeed, the only question that mentioned parties – whether Democrats should change Senate rules so they can pass redistribution reform without Republican support – was much more narrowly divided. (Forty-seven percent of respondents said they were in favor of this, and 42 percent opposed it.)
The questions also did not highlight Republicans’ preferred arguments – for example, Republicans would insist that same-day, automatic registration could allow ineligible people to vote, which would likely make some respondents more concerned about these proposals.
And other parts of the bill not covered in this poll, such as its limits to voter identification laws (it would allow voters without ID to submit an affidavit attesting to their identity) and its creation of A system of public funding to compensate for small donations may be more controversial. Voter ID requirements generally poll quite well and public funding is often bad polls.
The poll also asked about a competing redistribution reform proposal that is not currently in the For the People Act – setting proportional standards such that, if a party wins about half the vote in a state, it should win. about half of the seats. (I recently wrote about the debate among Democrats on this idea.) It received less support than any of the other provisions above, but was still supported by 51% of poll respondents, with 34% saying they were against to that.
Either way, Democrats’ problem when it comes to enacting the law for the people is not the polls – it is the filibuster of the Senate. The bill that has already passed in a vote close to the party line in the House will require a 60-vote supermajority to pass in the Senate. Since no Republican support appears to be in sight, activists argued that the Senate should change its rules to let the bill pass. But moderate Democratic senators do not want to do this.
A key repeat offender, Joe Manchin, told me in a recent profile that he was concerned that passing a major party line vote bill would only further divide the country. He argued that 20-25% of the public already did not trust the system and that an overhaul of the party line would “ensure” that number would increase, leading to more “anarchy” like that on Capitol Hill on the 6th. January. , “I just believe with all my heart and soul that this is what would happen, and I’m not going to be a part of it.” ”
Unless he changes his mind, the law for the people cannot be passed by the Senate.