Poll: Majority support for extending jobless benefits
January 9th, 2014
08:21 AM ET
7 months ago

Poll: Majority support for extending jobless benefits

Washington (CNN) – As a push to extend unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed faces an uncertain future in Congress, a new national poll indicates majority support for a three-month extension.

According to a Quinnipiac University survey, 58% of registered voters nationwide say they favor a three-month extension of the benefits for people currently out of work.

The poll, which was released Wednesday, indicates a partisan divide, with overwhelming support from Democrats (83%-13%), majority backing from independents (54%-41%), and opposition from Republicans by a 54%-42% margin.

Thanks to support from six Republican lawmakers, the legislation passed an initial procedural hurdle in the Senate on Tuesday, but some of those Republicans say they will pull their support unless Democrats come up with a way to pay for the $6.4 billion bill.

The White House and congressional Democrats say the legislation is a top priority, but Republicans accuse them of sabotaging their own bill - by refusing to come up with a compromise offset - in order to have a political issue they could use to attack Republicans in the 2014 mid-term elections.

So how might the issue, which is increasingly in the national spotlight, affect November's midterm elections, when the entire House of Representatives and more than a third of the Senate are up for grabs?

"If a candidate for Congress supports extending jobless benefits, 33 percent are more likely to vote for that candidate, with 24 percent less likely and 40 percent who say it won't affect their vote," says a release from Quinnipiac University.

The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted January 4-7, with 1,487 registered voters nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser and CNN Senior Congressional Producer Ted Barrett contributed to this report.


Filed under: Congress • Polls • unemployment
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. jinx9to88

    Ok here we go! The GOP loves to use the "majority of the American people" line. If this article is correct the majority of Americans want to see benefits extended. What you gonna do Mr. Boner or should I call u orangeman?

    January 9, 2014 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  2. Tampa Tim

    I wonder how many who have been adversely affected by the GOP will show up at the polls and vote for them. The republicans shut down government at a cost of $24 billion with no offsets or any plan of paying for their insanity. But when it comes to helping Americans, they need offsets for the $6.4 billion to extend benefits.

    January 9, 2014 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  3. Phyllis Gwendoline Williams

    You MUST help them. As my mother used to say"finger stink, you can.t throw it away". The Bible reminds us of
    labouring creatures, ants, conies, locusts, spiders (Proverbs 30: 25-28) we must "consider...ways and be wise(6:6)

    January 9, 2014 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  4. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    The GOP needs to realize that if they keep voting AGAINEST the majority opinion of us voters, they are going to get kicked out of office and their gerrymandered voting districts won't save them. I guess there's no unemployed republicans on food stamps or unemployment or that don't have healthcare in the red GOP controlled hick states, even the GOP hillbillies will vote AGAINEST you morons when they lose their food stamps. It's long past time to kick out the GOP trash!!!!!

    January 9, 2014 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  5. Tampa Tim

    Did everyone get to see our boy blunder, Marco Rubio, yesterday? Instead of giving help to those who need, he wants to give money to corporations instead , and also, turn over the help for the poor people to the states. Red states wouldn't even take the Medicaid money to help 5 million of their own voters, so that should put him up there with Cruz and Paul.

    January 9, 2014 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  6. Rudy NYC

    I just love the altruistic sounding, yet totally irrational, excuses Republicans give for not extending benefits.

    1 – "People should improve their skill sets." Have you ever heard of a new career training program that took less than 26 weeks to complete? Except for the most rudimentary programs, like "Windows for Wingnuts", most programs are comprised of more than a single class and usually take at least a year to complete.

    2 – "Unemployment benefits makes people lazy." In some cases, a benefits check will make someone sit on their rump. Seeing how a benefits check can be around $300 per week, why work for minimum wage for 20-40 hours per week?

    January 9, 2014 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  7. Rudy NYC

    "... ... Republicans say they will pull their support unless Democrats come up with a way to pay for the $6.4 billion bill."
    --------------------------–
    Republicans didn't say that when they gave hundreds of thousands of government workers a couple of weeks of vacation days, at the cost of $24 billion. Does anyone remember that impromptu government holiday that Republicans gave to all government workers so that they could observe the funeral of Ronald Reagan? That holiday had cost at least a couple billion dollars for just a single day. I bring this up only because so many on the right demand proof of what the shutdown cost.

    January 9, 2014 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  8. Gurgyl

    ---shhhhhh, except rich GOP thugs.

    January 9, 2014 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  9. king

    i am tired of people expecting the dems to fight for them, and taken them for granted. yet when the stuborn repubs give into helping these same people they are rewarded with votes. dems! like a girl you've got to start playing hard to get. because the people are shore using you like a ..... when is someone going to call roger ails and tell him to hire at least one dem on his news program to host a half a hour show. it is disgusting for fox news to call themselves legitimate, and only push one side of the story 24 hours a day. i heard they didn't even mention Christye's playing politics with the peoples government up there in new jersey. msnbc atleast have a republican host for 3 hours in the the morning with morning joe. what is fox news so scared of.

    January 9, 2014 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  10. Marty, FL

    While the Senate seems to be working together to extend these vital benefits, Boehner's House TGOP sadly refuses to help our fellow Americans in need.

    Please vote these heartless TGOP politicians out of our government 2014.

    January 9, 2014 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  11. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    The right wing, elitest garbage keep digging themselves into deeper holes.

    January 9, 2014 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  12. Lynda/Minnesota

    1 – "People should improve their skill sets." Have you ever heard of a new career training program that took less than 26 weeks to complete? Except for the most rudimentary programs, like "Windows for Wingnuts", most programs are comprised of more than a single class and usually take at least a year to complete.

    Yeah. I've mentioned that before, Rudy. These "training" programs also put an additional burden on an already depleted income. Especially for the age 55+ group. You know ... those who should be saving for their "golden years" retirement.

    January 9, 2014 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  13. simplyput

    We should definitly pass unemployment for Americans. Of course, it has to be budgeted and paid for, which would be much easier if we weren't trying to save the globe, wouldn't it? The burden of NAFTA and the Clintons and China on this country are becoming painfully obvious. NYC will need to run Trump, or RIP. He's familiar with bankruptcy, I hear. But then, we've been here, done this, have the tee. No thanks.

    January 9, 2014 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  14. Keith ..... in Oregon

    I think most Republicans are actually in favor of extending the benefits. They simply insist that doing that isn't free so let's pay for it. The administration says "No". Then CNN and most posters here brand the Republicans as hard-hearted, mean-spirited and obstructionists. Excellent logic!

    January 9, 2014 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  15. Rudy NYC

    Keith ..... in Oregon

    I think most Republicans are actually in favor of extending the benefits. They simply insist that doing that isn't free so let's pay for it. The administration says "No". Then CNN and most posters here brand the Republicans as hard-hearted, mean-spirited and obstructionists. Excellent logic!
    --------------
    "No." Republicans want to pay for it by cutting SNAP, Head Start, and other programs aimed at helping most of the same individuals that receive unemployment benefits. Democrats are simpy saying, "Don't rob Peter to pay Paul." Republicans are saying, "Bah, humbug."

    January 9, 2014 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  16. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    @Keith ..... in Oregon
    I think most Republicans are actually in favor of extending the benefits. They simply insist that doing that isn't free so let's pay for it. The administration says "No". Then CNN and most posters here brand the Republicans as hard-hearted, mean-spirited and obstructionists. Excellent logic!

    Last time I checked, I was paying for unemployment insurance with each paycheck. I have been working since 1974 and have never been out of a job. To say that people are freeloading isn't true. I suspect these out of work folks have been paying into the system for years and will continue to contribute when they get back on their feet.

    January 9, 2014 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  17. Malory Archer

    Keith ..... in Oregon

    I think most Republicans are actually in favor of extending the benefits. They simply insist that doing that isn't free so let's pay for it. The administration says "No". Then CNN and most posters here brand the Republicans as hard-hearted, mean-spirited and obstructionists. Excellent logic!

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    It's where they want to MAKE the cuts that make it unpalatable to the Dems. If they were willing to cut defense spending or subsidies to multi-billion dollar corporations who do nothing for Americans but send their jobs overseas en masse and pay their remaining workers substandard wages while at the same time whining about "soshulist welfare programs" the dems would be more than willing to play. The pain should be shared across the board instead of crushing those at the very bottom.

    January 9, 2014 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  18. tom l

    If you want to learn something and be open to the other side of the argument with regards to long term UI, look at North Carolina.

    January 9, 2014 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  19. rs

    And this is my issue with the GOP. They say they are the party standing up for "freedom", "small government" and all sorts of things. We know we're not a true "democracy", but they manage to always fight battles from the minority point-of-view. A majority of Americans favor:

    Higher minimum wage
    Equal pay for women
    Voters' rights
    Same-sex marriage
    Better health care
    Lower college tuition
    Getting out of Iraq and Afghanistan
    Economic stimulus and a jobs bill
    Extended unemployment compensation
    Strengthening Social Security and Medicare
    Sensible gun regulation
    environmental protection

    The GOP? No on all, and not based on any platform, or logical foundation- just absolutely NO.

    This gets us back to a basic question- just who does the GOP represent? Who do they work for?

    January 9, 2014 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  20. Sniffit

    "Have you ever heard of a new career training program that took less than 26 weeks to complete?"

    Not really...which raises the question: Was just one seminar on how to speak respectfully to and about women really sufficient for the GOP/Teatrolls?

    January 9, 2014 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  21. Keith ..... in Oregon

    Thanks to those who responded to my post. You all make valid suggestions about where the cuts should come from. My problem with the administration and their supporters is that they did not propose any cuts to pay for it. Their response was a simple, "No".

    I think bargaining and give and take is needed and real governance. I don't expect it from this Congress or this administration.

    January 9, 2014 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  22. simplyput

    @Rudy NYC "Democrats are simply saying don't rob Peter to pay Paul."
    ______________
    No, democrats are saying "rob "em all." I shudder to think what you believe you can get away with.

    January 9, 2014 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  23. Fair is Fair

    Jeff Brown in Jersey

    @Keith ..... in Oregon
    I think most Republicans are actually in favor of extending the benefits. They simply insist that doing that isn't free so let's pay for it. The administration says "No". Then CNN and most posters here brand the Republicans as hard-hearted, mean-spirited and obstructionists. Excellent logic!

    Last time I checked, I was paying for unemployment insurance with each paycheck. I have been working since 1974 and have never been out of a job. To say that people are freeloading isn't true. I suspect these out of work folks have been paying into the system for years and will continue to contribute when they get back on their feet.
    -------
    Unless you're self-employed, you haven't paid a nickle for unemployment insurance. It is completely and totally funded by your employers.

    January 9, 2014 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  24. Hector Slagg

    Well,
    Suppose the Congress approves this extension for 3 months. If the jobs picture doesn't improve then what? For all practical purposes the Obama Administration has only one plan. Screw the rich, the real job creators. Some of you on here are calling the real job creators garbage. With Obama Care keeping unemployment too high there will be few jobs in the balance. You can scream and holler all you want to, but in the long run, Beggars can't be choosers. Sorry! Those are the facts!

    January 9, 2014 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  25. Evergreen

    The Federal extension funds loaned States to will be paid back, unlike corporate welfare subsidies and foriegn aid. Offsets should come from these programs. And pass a Jobs bill. Help put our Workers back to work.

    January 9, 2014 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
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