Washington D.C. – Today, government watchdog Accountable.US released results of a Public Policy Polling survey finds that a majority (55%) of Florida respondents support Congress extending the CARES Act’s $600 extra federal unemployment benefits that are responding to the continuing economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. 70% of Floridians who think Congress should increase the extra unemployment benefits to more than $600 per week say they would view Senator Marco Rubio less favorably if he voted against the extension.
Additionally, the survey found a majority (57%) think that President Trump’s response to the coronavirus has made America less safe. [SEE HERE for summary of survey results from Public Policy Polling; SEE HERE for detailed results]
In response to the findings, Accountable.US president Kyle Herrig said: “Throughout the public health crisis, the President and his Senate allies have put the interests of the wealthy and well-connect ahead of the safety and economic security of workers and small businesses – and it’s clear the public is troubled by this misguided approach.”
The findings come as Senate Republicans consider significantly reducing the newly expired benefits in the next coronavirus relief package, and on the day nearly 1.2 million more American workers filed for unemployment.
Among the Key Findings from the Surveys:
- A majority (55%) of Florida respondents think Congress should extend or increase the $600 per week unemployment benefits in response to the economic downturn related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, just 15% think these extra unemployment benefits should be ended. These respondents who support extending or increasing unemployment insurance are also considerably more concerned with how their Senator votes on this issue than those who do not support extending the benefits.
- 70% of Floridians who think Congress should increase the extra unemployment benefits to more than $600 per week say they would view Senator Marco Rubio less favorably if he voted against the extension. Just 19% say it wouldn’t make a difference in their views of Rubio.
- Another 70% who think the same $600 unemployment insurance should be extended say they would view Senator Rubio less favorably if he voted against the extension, while only 18% say it wouldn’t make a difference.
- Over a third (35%) of respondents who think the unemployment benefits should be decreased say Senator Rubio voting against unemployment insurance extension wouldn’t make a difference in their view of him.
- 42% who think Congress should end the additional unemployment benefits say it wouldn’t make a difference if Senator Rubio voted against the benefits extension.
- With a debate over whether or not Congress should extend the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), just 10% of Floridians think Congress should extend the program as-is, and only 9% think it should be allowed to expire. With concerns over the PPP prioritizing wealthy and well-connected companies over small businesses, other respondents think it should be reformed. A plurality (41%) think the program should be extended but fixed to prioritize small businesses, and another 34% think Congress should start over with a new program that is more transparent.
- 57% of Floridians think President Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has made America less safe, while just 40% think America is safer.
- President Trump is underwater in approval of his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the economic downturn resulting from it: 55% disapprove of his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, while only 42% approve. Another 53% disapprove of Trump’s handling of the economic downturn during the coronavirus pandemic, while 43% approve.
- President Trump is also underwater in approval by 15 points overall in Florida (40-55).
- Senator Marco Rubio is unpopular in his home state, with his approval underwater by 20 points (31-51).
This survey was conducted on behalf of Accountable.US, a nonpartisan government watchdog based in Washington D.C. that has been tracking how CARES Act resources have been spent.