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Politics New infrastructure isn't seen as priority by Americans

21:50  10 april  2021
21:50  10 april  2021 Source:   cnn.com

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President Joe Biden is pushing his infrastructure bill, the American Jobs Plan. This bill strays from what has helped him maintain an approval rating above 50% so far during his presidency because, even though the plan polls fairly well, it's not clear that Americans actually think it's all that important.

Joe Biden wearing a suit and tie: President Joe Biden speaks during an event on the American Jobs Plan in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus, Wednesday, April 7, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) © Evan Vucci/AP President Joe Biden speaks during an event on the American Jobs Plan in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus, Wednesday, April 7, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Numerous polls have asked Americans about their priorities and infrastructure comes out low.

Just 32% said improving the country's roads, bridges and public transportation systems should be a top priority for Biden and Congress, according to a January Pew Research Center poll. That ranked second to last among 19 items asked about in the poll. For comparison, strengthening the economy and dealing with the pandemic were first and second, respectively.

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A January Monmouth University poll came to a similar finding. It tested 15 areas for the federal government to address, and a mere 17% said transportation and energy infrastructure was extremely important. That was dead last in the poll. Again, the pandemic and the economy were at or near the topic of the list.

Now, this isn't to say the infrastructure plan will necessarily hurt Biden's popularity. Right now, more Americans support than oppose the bill.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll taken last week showed that 45% backed the bill, while 27% opposed it. A lot of folks (28%) simply were undecided.

An average of polls on the topic does find support a bit higher, with 54% favoring the bill to 23% opposing it. Nearly a quarter of the electorate was neither in favor nor opposed.

The fight to define infrastructure could change America

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A 54% opening favorability for a bill is good, but it's not close to the type of support Biden was getting for his coronavirus relief package. It's also about equal to Biden's overall job approval rating of around 55%.

Among these same pollsters, Biden's Covid relief bill was far more popular than he was, with an average of 66% support to 19% opposition, with just 15% undecided.

The higher number of undecideds in the infrastructure bill makes sense. Unlike with coronavirus relief, infrastructure is not at the top of most Americans' minds. The higher number of undecideds may also be an indication that opinions on the subject may be less entrenched than they were when it came to Biden's Covid relief bill.

Moreover, the data suggests that those who are undecided are disproportionately Republican. This could mean that opposition might jump up as Republicans speak out against the bill.

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The good news for Biden is he may not need any GOP votes to pass his infrastructure package. Democrats control the House, and the Senate parliamentarian is of the belief that they could potentially use reconciliation (i.e. needing a simple majority of Senate votes) to pass future bills. If they are able to use it for the infrastructure bill, Democrats have the votes in the House and Senate, as long as they don't have any defections.

That's why it'll be important to watch more moderate Democratic senators to see whether they waver. The lack of import that most voters are putting on infrastructure could work to their advantage.

If most Americans aren't basing their votes on whether this infrastructure bill passes or not, there's likely a better chance that Democrats will toe the party line on a package important to the President.

American voters overwhelmingly support the nontraditional measures in Biden's infrastructure bill .
A CNBC survey found that just 36% of voters like Biden's infrastructure plan as it is. But they largely support measures that GOP lawmakers oppose.According to a CNBC survey released on Thursday, just 36% of Americans supported Biden's infrastructure plan as he presented it - only three percentage points higher than those who oppose the plan, at 33%. This is about half the level of support that Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus plan received in similar polling in March.

usr: 9
This is interesting!