Voters are divided on changing Senate suffrage rules

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As the Senate shifts its focus to suffrage and election governance, a new Morning Consult/Politico poll shows moves to bolster American suffrage and clarify Washington’s role in counting Electoral College votes are quite popular, but only Democratic voters are convinced to change the Senate rules to pass these changes.

Where voters stand on the filibuster

According to the Jan. 8-9 survey, 62 percent of Democrats support creating an exception to the Senate’s 60-vote filibuster to pass suffrage legislation. Among the overall electorate, 37% support the filibuster exception for Democrats’ suffrage legislation, roughly matching the share of those who oppose it.

Democrats most likely to back filibuster for voting rights

Voters were asked if they support changing Senate filibuster rules to pass suffrage legislation

Poll conducted on January 8 and 9, 2022 among a representative sample of 2,000 registered voters, with an unweighted margin of error of +/- 2 percentage points. Figures may not total 100% due to rounding.

As previously noted, views on filibuster depend largely on how the question is posed. For example, voters are split almost evenly when asked whether they think legislation should have at least 51 votes or at least 60 votes to pass the Senate, while more voters support it when they are asked if 60 senators should agree. allow a final vote on a bill.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.) has put the filibuster debate front and center by promising to force a vote on the issue by Monday if Senate Republicans continue to block the review of the Democrats’ right to vote legislation.

For the first time on Tuesday, President Joe Biden endorsed Schumer’s push, telling Atlanta that he supports “changing the Senate rules the way they must be changed to prevent a minority of senators from blocking action on suffrage.” But barring a change of heart from a handful of senators — notably Sen. Joe Manchin (DW.Va.), who has spoken out against rule changes without Republican support — Schumer’s effort is doomed to fail.

While the broader electorate is divided over changing Senate rules regarding Democrats’ voting priorities, a number of proposals — including one that has attracted interest from top Senate Republicans — are doing quite well in the election. ‘public opinion.

Voters generally like Democrats’ ballot and election metrics

The majority of voters support Democratic proposals to expand access to early voting (65%), ban partisan gerrymandering (64%) or make Election Day a federal holiday (61%), all parties of the Free Suffrage Act with bipartisan support.

Sixty-three percent also asked states with recent histories of voting rights violations to seek Justice Department approval before making changes to voting practices, the main purpose of the law on voting rights. John R. Lewis voting rights advancement, supported by Manchin, including 58% of Republicans.

But the Free Suffrage Act, in particular, faces united opposition from Republicans on Capitol Hill and is also unpopular with the GOP base nationwide, with majorities opposed to provisions to broaden the vote. access to voting by mail (64%), automatic voter registration (56%) and same-day voter registration (53%).

Despite this opposition, a handful of Republican senators — including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Minority Whip John Thune of South Dakota — have opened the door to a targeted measure to amend the Electoral Count Act of 1887, whose ambiguities Trump sought to eliminate. exploit on January 6, 2021, as part of his effort to undo Biden’s victory with his Republican allies in Congress.

The majority of voters are in favor of clarifying the law on the electoral count

Voters were asked if the Electoral Count Act of 1887 should be amended to specify that the vice president cannot reject state-certified electoral votes in U.S. presidential elections.

Poll conducted on January 8 and 9, 2022 among a representative sample of 2,000 registered voters, with an unweighted margin of error of +/- 2 percentage points. Figures may not total 100% due to rounding.

Majority of voters (55%) say the voter count law should be amended to clarify that the vice president cannot reject state-certified results when Congress meets to count the votes, including the majority of Democrats, Independents and Republicans.

But the poll also revealed a lack of consensus among voters when it comes to congressional priorities.

Large shares of independents, Republicans say Congress shouldn’t bother with voting, election issues

Voters were asked which of the following proposals should be the top priority for Congress, if any:

Poll conducted on January 8 and 9, 2022 among a representative sample of 2,000 registered voters, with an unweighted margin of error of +/- 2 percentage points. Figures may not total 100% due to rounding.

About a third of voters said neither voter count law reforms, expanding access to vote, nor strengthening oversight of state election laws should be a “top priority” for the Congress, including 2 out of 5 independents and 46% Republicans.

Among Democratic voters, the largest share (44%) said Congress should prioritize expanding voting access in federal elections, reflecting leaders’ propensity to assume the right to vote in the federal election. nationwide rather than the issue of Congressional certification, which will not come into play until 2025.

January 6 anniversary as a catalyst

After early moves to fight the vote were blocked by Senate Republicans, Democrats shifted most of their message and political capital to advancing the now-blocked Build Back Better Act. But coming out of the holidays with no apparent way forward for the president’s social spending and climate agenda, Biden and Schumer turned to the election administration, framing their desired changes in the context of the attack on the Capitol on 6 January, when Trump and his supporters sought to cancel the 2020 presidential election.

“The former president and his supporters are trying to rewrite history. They want you to consider Election Day as the day of the insurrection and the riot that took place here on January 6 as the true expression of the will of the people,” Biden said in remarks from Capitol Hill, preceding his pivot to the right to vote this week. . “Can you think of a more twisted way to look at this country – to look at America?”

Voters see Jan. 6 as a bigger pox on the Constitution than the 2020 election by a 2-to-1 margin

Voters were asked what was the biggest violation of the US Constitution, the 2020 election or the January 6 attack on the Capitol

Poll conducted on January 8 and 9, 2022 among a representative sample of 2,000 registered voters, with an unweighted margin of error of +/- 2 percentage points. Figures may not total 100% due to rounding.

Like Biden, just under half of Americans (47%) consider the January 6 insurrection the biggest violation of the US Constitution, while 22% say the same about the 2020 election. Another 15% of voters say both events also violated the country’s core belief.

As previous surveys have shownDemocratic voters are much more likely than others to view Jan. 6 as a big deal, with 77% calling it a violation of the Constitution compared to 42% of independents.

Republican voters were twice as likely to rate the contest that resulted in Biden winning as an offense as the attack that sought to unseat him, 43% versus 19%.

Many congressional Republicans criticized Biden’s birthday speech on Capitol Hill, accusing him of using tragedy for political gain and dividing the country as a result. When asked if Biden had done more to unite or divide the country since taking office, 49% said the latter compared to 36% who said the former.

More than 4 in 5 Republicans and 53% of independents said Biden was more divisive than unifying, while 67% of Democrats said he was more unifying than divisive.

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