• Polling

A Growing Majority of Americans Support Raising the Debt Ceiling

Thursday, May 25, 2023 By Bryan Bennett
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Welcome to NAVIGATOR – a project designed to better understand the American public’s views on issues of the day and help advocates, elected officials, and other interested parties understand the language, imagery, and messaging needed to make and win key policy arguments.
Key takeaways
  • A growing majority support raising the debt ceiling to avoid default.
  • Most Americans support President Biden bypassing Congress if no deal is reached to continue paying the country’s bills or forcing Congress to vote on a discharge petition to avoid default without any strings attached.
  • Nearly three in five oppose Republicans in Congress’ budget plan, and three in four say the plan, which would take away Medicaid from 20 million Americans, is concerning (similar shares feel Congress and the Biden administration should not cut spending on the program or Medicare/Social Security).

A Growing Majority Support Raising the Debt Ceiling to Avoid Default As More Americans Are Hearing About It

Since early April, Republicans have grown increasingly supportive of raising the debt ceiling (net -7 support now, compared to net -30 then).

  • Americans who report hearing “a lot” or “some” about a default support raising the debt ceiling by a 42-point margin.

Americans Remain Divided on Who They Would Blame More for a Default

Roughly equal shares of Americans would blame Biden and Democrats (30%), Republicans in Congress (29%), or both equally (29%).

Biden Continuing to Pay the Country’s Bills and Forcing a Direct Vote on a Default Discharge Petition Are Most Popular Actions

Majorities support “bypassing Congress if they are unable to negotiate a deal” (58% support), as well as “forcing Congress to hold a direct vote…without any strings attached” (55%) and “without any conditions” (52%).

  • Less popular are minting a trillion-dollar coin (just 22% support) and relying on the 14th Amendment (about two in five support).

Republicans in Congress’ Plan on the Debt Ceiling Remains Deeply Unpopular

A majority of Americans oppose the Republicans’ budget plan (57% oppose), including majorities of independents (55%).

Tagging Proposed Budget Cuts As Specific to Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security Increases Opposition

Three in five Republicans (60%) feel strongly that Congress and the Biden administration should not cut spending “on things like Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security,” along with two in three independents (65%) and nearly four in five Democrats (77%).

Three in Four Americans Are Concerned by Consequences to People on Medicaid From Republicans’ Debt Ceiling Plan

Majorities – including 59% of Republicans – say it is concerning that Congressional Republicans’ plan “would take away Medicaid from 20 million Americans,” including the 60% of children with disabilities and 60% of nursing home residents who rely on it.

About The Study

Global Strategy Group conducted public opinion surveys among a sample of 1,000 registered voters from May 18-May 21, 2023. 100 additional interviews were conducted among Hispanic voters. 76 additional interviews were conducted among Asian American and Pacific Islander voters. 100 additional interviews were conducted among African American voters. 100 additional interviews were conducted among independent voters. The survey was conducted online, recruiting respondents from an opt-in online panel vendor. Respondents were verified against a voter file and special care was taken to ensure the demographic composition of our sample matched that of the national registered voter population across a variety of demographic variables.

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About Navigator

In a world where the news cycle is the length of a tweet, our leaders often lack the real-time public-sentiment analysis to shape the best approaches to talking about the issues that matter the most. Navigator is designed to act as a consistent, flexible, responsive tool to inform policy debates by conducting research and reliable guidance to inform allies, elected leaders, and the press. Navigator is a project led by pollsters from Global Strategy Group and GBAO along with an advisory committee, including: Andrea Purse, progressive strategist; Arkadi Gerney, The Hub Project; Joel Payne, The Hub Project; Christina Reynolds, EMILY’s List; Delvone Michael, Working Families; Felicia Wong, Roosevelt Institute; Mike Podhorzer, AFL-CIO; Jesse Ferguson, progressive strategist; Navin Nayak, Center for American Progress Action Fund; Stephanie Valencia, EquisLabs; and Melanie Newman, Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

For press inquiries contact: press@navigatorresearch.org