WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, government watchdog Accountable.US released results of a Public Policy Polling survey in Colorado finding support for extending the CARES Act’s $600 extra federal unemployment benefits that are responding to the continuing economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. A plurality (49%) of Colorado voters think these unemployment insurance benefits should be either extended or increased while less than a quarter (23%) of Colorado voters think Congress should end the extra benefits. And 76% among the Coloradans who think Congress should increase the extra unemployment benefits to more than $600 per week say they would view Senator Cory Gardner less favorably if he voted against the extension.
Additionally, the survey found a strong majority (57%) of Colorado voters 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 Survey:
- Less than a quarter (23%) of Colorado voters think Congress should end the $600 per week unemployment benefits in response to the economic downturn related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, a plurality (49%) think these unemployment insurance benefits should be either extended or increased.
- 76% among the Coloradans who think Congress should increase the extra unemployment benefits to more than $600 per week say they would view Senator Cory Gardner less favorably if he voted against the extension. Just 21% say it wouldn’t make a difference in their views of Gardner.
- 70% who think the same $600 unemployment insurance should be extended say they would view Senator Gardner less favorably if he voted against the extension, while only 18% say it wouldn’t make a difference.
- 44% of voters who think the unemployment benefits should be decreased say Senator Gardner voting against unemployment insurance extension wouldn’t make a difference in their view of him.
- Nearly a third of voters (29%) who think Congress should end the additional unemployment benefits say it wouldn’t make a difference if Senator Gardner voted against the benefits extension.
- With a debate over whether or not Congress should extend the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), just 10% of Coloradans 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 voters think it should be reformed. A plurality (39%) think the program should be extended but fixed to prioritize small businesses, and another 36% think Congress should start over with a new program that is more transparent.
- 56% of Coloradans think President Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has made America less safe, while just 39% 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 44% approve. Another 52% disapprove of Trump’s handling of the economic downturn during the coronavirus pandemic, while 44% approve.
- President Trump is also underwater in approval by 15 points overall in Colorado (40-55).
- Senator Cory Gardner is unpopular in his home state, with a majority (52%) disapproving of his job performance and just 36% approving.
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.