New Polling Supports Aggressive Action to Address Economic Inequities in the Recovery from COVID-19

Marc Stier |

New polling shows support for aggressive government action to address economic inequities in the recovery from COVID-19.

A new 10-state poll carried out by Global Strategy Group of “unheard middle” voters—those who are neither strong Democrats nor strong Republicans—revealed broad support for bold state government action both to relieve the economic distress created by COVID-19 pandemic and to address the inequities revealed by it.

By a huge margin, middle of the road voters believe that large “the state government still needs to do more to protect the economy and hard-working families” (91%) than “the state government doesn’t need to spend more taxpayer dollars in response to the economic impacts of the pandemic” (9%).

Public policies that focus on protecting working people and small businesses are enormously popular, including “requiring workplaces to provide paid sick days to their employees” (supported by 90%); “providing low-interest loans to small businesses to help them make it through the crisis” (supported by 88%); “expanding a tax credit to provide extra income to working people with low incomes” (supported by 88%); “offering people in Pennsylvania the option to buy into the same public health insurance plans that are available to state employees if they want to” (supported by 86%); “creating an insurance plan to provide paid family and medical leave for employees to care for a sick family member, bond with a new baby or recover from a major illness or injury” (supported by 84%).

Middle-of-the-road Pennsylvanians understand that new revenues will be needed to pay for these proposals as well as to protect essential services like schools, health care, and public safety. They support “making big corporations pay their fair share by eliminating tax breaks for large corporations” in order to provide these goods and services by a large margin (65%).

And middle-of-the-road Pennsylvanians understand that the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that we need to correct an economic system that has been benefiting those at the top rather than working people and small businesses. Eighty-nine percent agree that “hard-working people are what keeps our economy strong through their hard work and investments in Pennsylvania businesses. We are seeing the proof of this during the coronavirus crisis. We must correct the system that has helped only those at the top for too long.” Fifty-seven percent of middle-of-the-road Pennsylvanians agree with the even bolder statement that “our economy wasn’t ready for the coronavirus pandemic. We must deal with immediate economic and health problems right now, but we should also make permanent fixes to the way our economy and health systems work so that we are preparing the nation for the next crisis.”

While it was not the central focus of the poll, GSG also found that 78% of middle-of-the-road voters they sampled in the ten states they studied support stay-at-home orders put in place by governors, while only 13% support those protesting against those orders. The poll also found that the governors of the states that have issued stay-at-home orders have higher approval ratings than those who are partially rolling back such orders.

The GSG polling memo is below. Detailed toplines for the poll can be found here.

This poll will be followed by another poll conducted by TargetSmart for PBPC and SiX. Results will be available in early June.