Democrats and Republicans both strongly support new round of COVID-19 pandemic aid, study finds


As the White House and congressional negotiators attempt a pandemic relief package again weeks before election day, Democrats and Republicans across the country are overwhelmingly backing more aid, but continue to differ on how much to spend and where the money should go, a new investigation by researchers from Northeastern, Harvard, Northwestern and Rutgers found.

David Lazer. Photo by Adam Glanzman / Northeastern University

In a rare show of agreement among a deeply polarized electorate, 88% of Democrats and 75% of Republicans support a follow-up to the four rounds of aid totaling $ 3 trillion that were passed earlier this year, according to the survey. . They also agree that the next installment should be in the form of direct cash payments to individuals and businesses.

Support among racial demographics was also surprisingly similar, suggesting that economic pain is being felt across the board and that another injection of federal money is urgently needed, says David Lazer, professor emeritus at the University of Political Science and Computer and Information Science at Northeastern, and one of the researchers who conducted the study.

Photo by Ruby Wallau / Northeastern University

White respondents support increased economic relief by 87%, black respondents 85%, Hispanic respondents 83%, and Asian American respondents 78%.

“Everyone is in pain,” Lazer says. “II’m not surprised everyone thinks something should be done “in Washington to strike a deal.”

But it might not be that easy. Deep and protracted disagreements over the destination of government assistance continue to be an obstacle.

Democrats in Congress support extended unemployment insurance and funding for hospitals, schools, small businesses, postal services, and state and local governments. Republicans in Congress oppose support for states and cities, but favor more limited UI benefits.

Facing voter judgment on November 3 could spur political leaders to act after repeated talks failed to reach a deal, Lazer said.

“No one wants to be seen as guilty,” he says. “With the elections approaching, heThis is going to be a very strong incentive not to be seen as the part that has kept people in difficulty from getting the help they need.

The last wave of aid came in March, but subsequent attempts at a fifth relief plan have stalled. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin have met to try to strike a deal.

President Trump addressing the RNC from the South Lawn of the White House

The survey of nearly 20,000 U.S. residents took place Sept. 4-27, ahead of a 90-minute meeting between the two in Pelosi’s office on Capitol Hill.

The results come as more industries warn of layoffs, time off and other money-saving measures unless Congress and the Trump administration quickly come to a deal. The airline industry has been among the hardest hit due to the slowdown in global air travel, and major job cuts could soon be announced, barring further federal help. US airlines are set to cut tens of thousands of jobs, lay off pilots, mechanics, baggage handlers and flight attendants.

New claims for unemployment benefits fell last week but remained between 800,000 and 900,000 for the fifth week in a row, reflecting a faltering labor market recovery, according to the Labor Ministry The data shown.

After negotiations on a fifth back-up plan failed in July, President Trump signed an executive order providing for a weekly unemployment supplement of $ 400 for six weeks. But those funds ended in late September, adding even more urgency to the latest round of talks.

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