Press Release

NEW POLLING: Majority Support Raising Debt Ceiling, Call Build Back Better An ‘Urgent Priority’

Thursday, September 30, 2021

For Immediate Release
September 30, 2021


NEW POLLING: Majority Support Raising Debt Ceiling, Call Build Back Better An ‘Urgent Priority’

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Navigator Research released new polling showing that a majority of Americans support raising the debt ceiling, and two in three consider passing the Build Back Better agenda as an urgent priority.

A majority of voters responded to an argument highlighting Republican hypocrisy on the debt ceiling during the Trump era. 54 percent said they would blame Republicans “who voted to raise the debt ceiling three times under Trump while racking up nearly $8 trillion on the deficit in that time, but now want to score points against Biden at the expense of the economy” if the debt ceiling isn’t raised, compared to 46 percent who blame Democrats for “irresponsibly spending government money and putting the U.S. in this situation.

Meanwhile, two in three Americans consider passing the Build Back Better agenda an urgent priority. Voters continue to support the bill by a 30-point margin: 61 percent of Americans, including nine in ten Democrats (89 percent), three in five Independents (60 percent), and nearly a third of Republicans (30 percent) support Biden and Democrats’ reconciliation package that will “provide paid family and medical leave, establish a universal pre-K program, expand Medicare coverage for seniors including dental, vision, and hearing coverage, and lower health care costs by allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices.” Support remains identical when introducing ways to pay for the Build Back Better economic plan, including raising taxes on the wealthy and corporations (61 percent).

“Americans understand the stakes at play in the debt ceiling debate — a government default could affect millions of people across the country.” said Bryan Bennett, Director of Polling & Analytics at the Hub Project. “They also agree that the reconciliation deal moving through Congress is crucial, and Republican brinkmanship isn’t a valid reason to hold back on investing in the American people and making the wealthy and corporations pay their fair share.”

By a two-to-one margin, most Americans support raising the debt ceiling when informed of the potential consequences of the government defaulting, including the pausing of Social Security check and paychecks to government employees (58 percent support – 29 percent oppose), including nearly three in five Independents (58 percent).

Additionally, insights from focus groups conducted among mothers and educators in Florida, Texas, and Nevada revealed emphatic support for taxing the rich and extending the expanded Child Tax Credit, even among participants who voted for President Trump in 2020. Support for taxing the rich and investing in families through the Child Tax Credit came through clearly, with many participants suggesting a vote against these measures could dampen their support for politicians who oppose these policies in 2022.

“These focus groups gave color to what we see constantly in surveys: Americans want policies that are good for working families, and they want to see the rich pay their fair share,” said Ayat AL-Tamimi, Senior Polling & Analytics Associate at the Hub Project. “Even among Trump voters, that message resonates strongly. Passing this popular legislation is good policy and good politics.”

To read full results from Navigator’s focus groups, which will be released tomorrow, sign up to receive Navigator’s polling updates at


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
This release features findings from a survey conducted September 23-27, 2021 of 995 registered voters. 101 additional interviews were conducted among Hispanic voters. 77 additional interviews were conducted among Asian American and Pacific Islander voters. 100 additional interviews were conducted among African American voters. 101 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%. The margin of error on sub-samples is greater.

About the Focus Groups
Three focus groups were conducted on September 21, 2021 with voters in three states: Florida (mothers who opposed DeSantis’ rules on masks in schools), Texas teachers and educators, and Nevada (mothers who opposed Sisolak’s rules on masks in schools). Qualitative results are not statistically projectable.