Nearly three-quarters of voters in Maine, West Virginia, Alaska, and Arizona support a new round of $1,400 stimulus checks, according to a new poll first provided to Newsweek.
The poll conducted by Hart Research for WorkMoney found the support to be 72 percent overall, with the breakdown being 68 percent support in Alaska, 69 percent in West Virginia, and 75 percent in Arizona and Maine.
“It reminds you of a natural disaster, can you imagine if congress behaved this way in response to a fire or hurricane?” said WorkMoney CEO Carrie Joy Grimes, whose 1.4 million-member group launched in response to the pandemic a year ago to advocate for economic relief for Americans. “It’s unconscionable that the question of who gets relief payments and how much they get is an issue in American politics.”
The poll highlights states whose senators will be needed for the eventual passage of a robust COVID relief package featuring checks to Americans. But as the debate continues in Congress, some like West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin have sought to define who is able to receive checks according to their income, with an amendment to “ensure upper-income taxpayers are not eligible” for the checks.
The question is what represents upper income, with Manchin advocating for checks only for those making less than $75,000, and with Democratic Arizona Sens Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly supporting Manchin’s nonbinding amendment which passed 99-1 on February 4.
“I think both [West Virginia junior Senator] Shelley Moore-Capito and Joe Manchin need to do more to push these checks through faster,” West Virginia voter Lori Taylor, from Morgantown, West Virginia told Newsweek. “I’m watching carefully what they do in the coming weeks to get this money into people’s pockets. I expect them to fight harder and do what it takes to get this done.”
The poll is a warning to Republican senators to listen to their constituents, Grimes said, noting that her group is nonpartisan but “we know what time it is.”
“It really does feel like you have everybody in America on one side and there are 50 people in the Senate. I don’t envy those people on why they’re holding COVID relief hostage,” she said. “All of America is watching.”
Support for checks is also high among white working-class voters, the group most likely to throw their support behind former President Donald Trump during his presidential campaigns. In Maine, 73 percent of these voters support the new stimulus checks, as well as 72 percent in West Virginia, 75 percent in Arizona, and 65 percent in Alaska.
“I was struck by the amount of support from non-college white voters because they are such a highly contested vote,” said Hart Research pollster Guy Molyneux, who said Democratic members of Congress may look at these numbers with interest.
The poll also asked the 400 voters surveyed in each state about their support for the $3,000 child tax credit for those under 17, which has support from Utah Senator Mitt Romney. Seven in 10 voters in West Virginia support the child tax credit, with 73 percent support in Maine, 78 percent in Alaska and 75 percent in Arizona.
“I would highlight the amount of cross-partisan support for a couple of these measures,” said Molyneux. “In the era of intense partisan polarization, where its become steadily harder for each party to rally voters, there’s extremely broad support for the child tax credit and for $1,400 stimulus checks.”
Helen Roberts, of Anchorage, Alaska, who lost her childcare business as a result of the pandemic said the last year has put her and her family in a hole that’s getting harder and harder to climb out of every day, making it difficult to afford keeping the power on and paying rent.
“There are so many people struggling here in Alaska and across the country, and it’s about time our senators do their jobs, deliver our stimulus, and help us survive this pandemic,” she said.
The Hart Research poll was conducted from January 29 to February 1 of 400 voters in each state who were comprise a representative sample of the electorate. It was conducted by phone, with a 4.9 percent margin of error.