Press Release

NEW POLLING: Americans Say Medicare Expansion, Drug Costs and Taxing the Rich are Top Reasons to Pass Biden’s Agenda

Friday, October 15, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Navigator Research released new polling showing that as more than three in five Americans continue to support the Build Back Better (BBB) economic agenda, overwhelming majorities say the top reasons to support the bill are expanding Medicare coverage (84 percent), reducing prescription drug costs (80 percent) and taxing the rich (75 percent).

Presented with a list of eleven reasons to support the bill, at least two in three Americans see each component of the economic plan as a good reason to pass it — ranging from 66 percent to 84 percent.

The intensity of support is encouragingly high among Independents and Economically Persuadable voters — those who disapprove of Biden’s performance on the economy, but support the Build Back Better agenda. Among the Economically Persuadable, 65 percent say expanding Medicare coverage and lowering drug prices are “very good” reasons to support the bill, and 60 percent say the same about taxing the rich. Among Independents, majorities say expanding Medicare coverage is a “very good reason to pass the bill (53 percent) as well as lowering drug prices (51 percent) and taxing the rich (51 percent). 

Taxing the rich also emerges as a dominant theme in open-ended responses from those who support the bill — both overall and among Independents. This comes on the heels of Navigator focus groups showing that even among Trump voters, respondents say they would reject leaders who oppose taxes on the rich.

“Progressives have spent the past several years building public support to tax the rich and invest in working families. Now we’re seeing the effect,” said Bryan Bennett, Director of Polling & Analytics at the Hub Project. “When Americans hear what’s a part of the Build Back Better agenda, they see a multitude of policies that will tangibly benefit their lives — including restoring balance to our tax code. Advocates of Build Back Better still have work to do to raise awareness about what is in the legislation.”

Despite the bill’s popularity, the Navigator report includes a warning that just 56 percent of Americans are hearing “a lot” or “some” about the bill, including just 61 percent of Democrats and 45 percent of Independents. Among the 18 percent of voters considered Economically Persuadable, that number falls to 35 percent.

“There’s a massive opportunity for Democrats to appeal directly to the public on this bill,” said Isaiah Bailey, Advisor to Navigator Research. “Americans see good reasons to support the president’s agenda when they hear about it, so progressives should be making the appeal loudly and directly.”

This growing traction for Biden’s agenda comes amid increasing optimism about the pandemic. Navigator reported yesterday that a plurality of Americans now believe “the worst is over” (48 percent), with 95 percent knowing at least one person who is vaccinated.



About Navigator Research

The Navigator Research project is designed to act as a consistent, flexible, responsive tool to inform policy debates. By conducting research and providing reliable guidance to inform allies, elected leaders, and the press, Navigator helps top leaders in Washington and grassroots leaders around the country shape the debate on the issues that matter most. Follow us on Twitter for the latest updates.

About This Survey

Global Strategy Group conducted a national survey among a sample of 1,001 registered voters from October 7-October 11, 2021. 100 additional interviews were conducted among Hispanic voters. 73 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. The margin of error at the 95% confidence level is +/- 3.1%.