• Polling

Progressive Messaging In Favor of Student Debt Cancellation is Effective

Friday, September 16, 2022 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
  • Majorities continue to support the Inflation Reduction Act, including three in five independents.
  • Cancelling $10,000 in student loan debt for borrowers earning less than $125,000 a year remains popular among three in five, including most who have never had student loan debt and who have paid theirs off.
  • As views of gas prices in the United States have improved over the last six weeks, views of the economy broadly and of Biden’s handling of it have improved.

Nearly Two in Three Americans Continue to Support the Inflation Reduction Act

Three in five independents (60%) and majorities across race and ethnicity continue to support the Inflation Reduction Act.

Majorities Continue to Support Biden Cancelling $10K in Student Loan Debt, Including Those Who Paid Theirs Off

Black Americans (88%), those who currently have debt (86%), Democrats (83%), and Hispanic Americans (77%) are most likely to support the policy.

A Pell Grant-Focused Message for Student Loan Forgiveness Supporters Is Most Effective Against Conservative Criticism

Among Black Americans, the Pell Grant message is particularly salient: 80% agree with a supporters’ Pell Grant message over a conservative rebuttal (12%), which is greater than their agreement with a broader pandemic/inflation rebuttal (69% to 21%). Meanwhile, independents show the opposite trend – 52% agree with a pandemic/inflation message when contrasted with a conservative rebuttal (30%), yet a Pell Grant-focused message is even at best with an opponents’ statement (35% to 38%).

While Americans Remain Negative on the Economy, There Are Signs of Easing Anxiety

Since early August, Black Americans (net +13 confident, up from +1) and Hispanic Americans (net +5, up from -17) have grown more confident in their personal financial situations.

  • There has also been an 11-point net decline in the share who rate the U.S. economy negatively, with greatest declines coming from Democrats (from net -37 to net -19) and independents (from net -63 to net -51).

The Share Who Say the Price of Gas Is Going Up Has Plateaued, But Fewer Say They’re Paying Less Now Than Few Weeks Ago

Almost two in five (37%) continue to say the price of gas is going up a lot (driven by 48% of Republicans). At the same time, nearly three in five (56%) say they are paying less for gas than they were a few weeks earlier, though this is down from 64% in late August.

As Views of Gas Prices Have Improved Since Early August, Views of the Economy Slowly But Surely Have Followed Suit

Since early August, the share of Americans who say gas prices are going up “a lot” has dropped by 21 points (37% now, down from 58%): in the same window of time, Americans have gotten more optimistic about the trajectory of the economy, the costs of groceries, and Biden’s overall handling of the economy.


About The Study

Global Strategy Group conducted public opinion surveys among a sample of 1,001 registered voters from September 8-September 11, 2022. 96 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. 99 additional interviews were conducted among independent voters

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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