Congressional Democrats are push to give most Americans $ 2,000 stimulus checks, arguing that this is a quick and direct way to help millions of Americans as they battle the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. President Trump supports payments of $ 2,000, too, but most Republicans in Congress don’t. Because of this opposition from the GOP in Congress, checks for $ 2,000 are not likely to become law. But Democrats think they have a electorally winning question ahead of the second round of the US Senate in Georgia next week.
Why many pollsters ignore Georgia runoff
Public opinion seems to be on the side of the Democrats. According to a poll conducted from December 22 to 28 by the left Data for progress. In the same way, a survey conducted by Business Insider and Survey Monkey on December 21, 62% of Americans said the $ 600 stimulus checks passed in a recent bill were not enough; 76% said the payments should be over $ 1,000.
Democrats are therefore pushing the problem hard. Georgia Senate candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock have strongly adopted the $ 2,000 payment plan. Their Republican opponents, the Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, are also suggesting they support payments. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is create procedural obstacles to stop payments of $ 2,000 to pass the Senate, giving Ossoff and Warnock the opportunity to suggest that Loeffler and Perdue are payment barriers, as they support McConnell by continuing to lead the majority.
So this all sounds good for Democrats, doesn’t it? Well, maybe. Democrats are pushing a popular idea just before this looks like very close elections, and the Republican Party is blocking it. The question may well help Warnock and Ossoff in Georgia next week. But we should not be so sure, for several reasons …
First of all, it is not clear that voters care so much about politics when deciding who to vote for.
The most reliable predictor of how Americans will vote is partisanship: Republican-leaning voters support Republican candidates and Democratic-leaning voters support Democratic candidates. These partisan labels and identities, of course, contain ideological and political overtones: the Republican Party, at least rhetorically, is more wary of large, widespread spending programs than the Democratic Party. But these connotations do not seem to drive the choice of vote. There are many examples of a party pushing unpopular ideas without its constituents switching to the other party. For example, the GOP agenda in 2017 and 2018, trying to repeal Obamacare and reduce corporate taxes, was quite unpopular with Republican voters, but these voters the majority of GOP candidates still supported in mid-term of 2018.
The Data for Progress poll suggests that 73% of Republicans nationally support payments of $ 2,000, with 52% supporting them strongly. Based on these numbers, it’s almost certainly true that a majority of Republicans in Georgia support the payments. Indeed, a DFP Poll of Likely Voters in Georgia conducted Nov. 15-20 found that 63% of state voters said they would be more likely to support a candidate who promoted a $ 1,200 payout to most Americans as part of a plan COVID-19 relief. That number of 63% also suggests that these payments are widely popular and gain the support of GOP base voters.
But it is highly unlikely that many Republicans will support Democratic candidates in Georgia because of this problem. Yes, the two elections seem close, so even a small change in voting preferences matters. But in such a close election, if Ossoff and Warnock narrowly win, I would hesitate to attribute this victory to Democrats’ support for this stimulus payment and McConnell’s opposition, as opposed to factors like The strong exit operations of the Democrats in the state, the weaknesses of Loeffler and Perdue as candidates and the growing liberalism of Georgia.
What about swing voters / independents and other people who are not necessarily related to one of the two parties? Well the evidence suggests that these types of voters do not necessarily have well-defined political preferences and don’t pay too much attention to politics. So maybe this stimulus debate convinces them that Republicans in Washington must be dethroned. Alternatively, maybe these voters aren’t as tuned into this stimulus debate as, say, Loeffler’s commercials. make Warnock a radical or Warnock announcements posing as a nice dog owner.
Second, voters may like Democratic economic ideas more than Democrats themselves.
In recent years, voting initiatives aimed at increase the minimum wage and to develop Medicaid moved into conservative-leaning states where lawmakers and governors from GOP states had blocked similar policies. But Republicans still win elections in these areas. It happened in Florida this year. A proposal to gradually increase the minimum wage to $ 15 an hour by 2026 has been passed in the Sunshine State, with 61 percent of voters kiss her. But Joe Biden, which strongly supports a minimum wage of $ 15, won just 48% of the vote in Florida, compared to 51% for Trump, who was more wary of minimum wage increases.
These voting patterns are another illustration of how partisanship wins – or is simply independent of voters’ political preferences, but there are other potential reasons for this disconnect. Voters may support some economically populist ideas but may be wary of too much economic populism if they elect a Democratic candidate. Some voters may support the economic populism of the Democrats but not the party because it is too progressive on issues such as abortion rights or policing. For example, in the 2016 election, Lee Drutman, a New America researcher and contributor to FiveThirtyEight, found that conservative voters on issues like immigration but who lean to the left on economic issues were more likely to support Trump than Hillary Clinton. And finally, many voters are simply not granted which party or candidate favors which policies.
When you bring this to Georgia, you can easily imagine swing voters backing the $ 2,000 payments to Americans but even more supportive of supporting the GOP Senate candidates and the guarantee the Democrats in Washington don’t have. control of the White House. and the two chambers of Congress.
At last, Trump has muddled the policy on stimulus controls.
You can also imagine that some voters are just confused about this issue. While Trump strongly supports the $ 2,000 checks, and Loeffler and Perdue also support them, it may not be entirely clear to voters that the wider Republican Party still opposes payments and is the obstacle to their approval. Particularly in these lame times for Trump, McConnell is Washington’s most prominent Republican in terms of politics. But Trump remains the defining figure of the party for most voters and in an electoral context. If Trump says he supports the $ 2,000 payments, Georgian voters could conclude that Republicans support them more broadly, even if McConnell blocks the payments and Loeffler and Perdue effectively help him do so, as is the case here.
That said, this debate on direct payments coinciding with the elections in Georgia has shown how electoral politics and governance intersect in interesting ways. While it is not clear whether the debate over stimulus payments will affect election results, it is is it is clear that the upcoming elections have affected the stimulus debate. Republicans worried oppose direct payments on the eve of the Georgia race, helping to ensure that $ 600 for most Americans was put in the COVID-19 economic stimulus that Trump enacted on Sunday. Republicans are now worried about a possible backlash in Georgia over opposition to the $ 2,000 payments. These electoral concerns have led Loeffler and Perdue, who typically take more conservative stances, to break away from McConnell and other Republicans to publicly support the payments. (Of course, Loeffler and Perdue will likely follow McConnell’s strategies to ensure that the $ 2,000 payments don’t become law.)
So Democrats may have figured out how to push through more populist policies: push them at election time. But even if Ossoff and Warnock win next week, the evidence that popular economic policies are automatically electoral stimulus for Democrats will be somewhat weak.
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