• Polling

Three in Four Americans Feel Getting Rid of the Filibuster Would Have a Positive Impact

Thursday, March 28, 2024 By Gabriela Parra
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Poll: Filibuster & Democracy Reforms

This Navigator Research report contains polling data on how Americans describe the current state of the U.S. political system, which policies Americans feel would help the government work better, and which political party Americans trust more to handle democracy and to protect it.  

Majorities of Americans continue to say that our politics are dysfunctional but fixable.

Three in four Americans describe the current U.S. political system as dysfunctional; however, among those who feel the government is dysfunctional, most feel the political system is fixable. While 74 percent of Americans say the U.S. political system is dysfunctional, more than half of Americans believe it is dysfunctional, but fixable (54 percent), including one in five who feel the political system is “very” fixable (20 percent). This share saying the U.S. political system is dysfunctional but fixable is higher among Baby Boomers (57 percent), those living in households making more than $50,000 a year (56 percent), and those who are unfavorable to both President Biden and former President Trump (55 percent).

Bar graph of polling data from Navigator Research. Title: Majorities Continue to Say American Politics Are Dysfunctional But Fixable, With Moderate/Major Perceived Personal Impact

Majorities across party lines believe a variety of democracy reforms could help fix the U.S. political system.

Among a list of proposals Americans feel would help fix our political system, the most popular include setting term limits, getting rid of the filibuster, and getting rid of the Electoral College. Americans say a number of proposals would help fix our political system, including getting rid of the filibuster rule in the U.S. Senate (73 percent), getting rid of the Electoral College for presidential elections (66 percent), and increasing the number of Justices on the U.S. Supreme Court (56 percent).

Three in five Americans now believe that getting rid of the filibuster would have a positive impact in making our government work better.

When asked to assess the impact of “getting rid of the loophole that allows a small minority of U.S senators to block legislation that a majority of senators support,” three in five Americans believe it would have a positive impact (net +46; 60 percent positive impact – 14 percent negative impact). This is a net 26-point increase from our May 2022 survey immediately after the leaked Dobbs decision (net +20; 43 percent positive impact – 23 percent negative impact). Eliminating the filibuster is supported across partisanship, including among Democrats (net +64; 71 percent positive impact – 7 percent negative impact), independents (net +34; 49 percent positive impact – 15 percent negative impact), and Republicans (net +31; 51 percent positive impact – 20 percent negative impact).

  • Three in five Americans say they understand what the filibuster is (61 percent), a 6-point increase from May of 2022 (55 percent), though just one in five say they understand the filibuster “very well” (21 percent). Republicans and Democrats are most likely to say they understand the filibuster (62 percent and 61 percent, respectively) compared to just 55 percent of independents.

Biden and Democrats are more trusted to protect democracy.

More Americans trust President Biden and the Democratic Party on handling democracy and protecting it more than the Republican Party, though a plurality of independents are unsure of which party to trust. By an 8-point margin, more Americans trust the Democratic Party more on handling the issue of democracy (47 percent Biden/Democrats – 39 percent Republicans). However, a plurality are unsure which party to trust more (42 percent) while those who have an opinion narrowly trust the Republican Party more by 10 points (24 percent Biden/Democrats – 34 percent Republicans). The Democratic Party holds double-digit trust advantages among Black Americans (net +53), Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (net +49), and Hispanic Americans (net +37), while white Americans narrowly trust the Republican Party more (net -6).

  • Similarly, Biden and the Democratic Party also hold a narrow trust advantage on “protecting democracy” (net +5; 44 percent Biden/Democrats – 39 percent Republicans), with a plurality of independents unsure which party to trust more (43 percent) while those who have an opinion narrowly trust the Republican Party more by 7 points (25 percent Biden/Democrats – 32 percent Republicans).
Bar graph of polling data from Navigator Research. Title: Biden and Democrats Are More Trusted on Democracy Broadly and to Protect It

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Polling data on how Americans in states with potential abortion bans and protections view the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) ahead of the oral arguments at the Supreme Court.

Three in Five Americans Support a National Law Protecting Abortion Medication

Poll on abortion rights in the U.S., including support for creating a federal protection to access prescription abortion medication and trust in the Supreme Court as the Court prepares to hear arguments on abortion-related cases.

Three in Five Constituents Support Congress Taking Action to Federally Protect Medication Abortion and IVF

Battleground poll on the recent Alabama Supreme Court decision impacting IVF, including the most concerning outcomes from the decision and support for Congress federally protecting both medication abortion and IVF.

About The Study

Global Strategy Group conducted public opinion surveys among a sample of 1,000 registered voters from March 7-March 11, 2024. 100 additional interviews were conducted among Hispanic voters. 75 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