New Poll Shows Support in Kentucky For Extending $600 Federal Unemployment Insurance Benefit, Underwater Approval for Senator McConnell
Washington D.C. – Today, government watchdog Accountable.US released results of a Public Policy Polling survey finding 50 percent of Kentucky respondents support extending the CARES Act’s $600 extra federal unemployment benefits that are in response to the continuing economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. Just 15% of Kentucky respondents think Congress should end the extra benefits. 72% of Kentuckians who think Congress should increase the extra unemployment benefits to more than $600 per week say they would view Senator Mitch McConnell less favorably if he voted against the extension.
Additionally, Senator McConnell is underwater in approval in his home state, with a plurality (48%) disapproving of his job performance. [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:
- Only 15% of Kentucky respondents think Congress should end the $600 per week unemployment benefits in response to the economic downturn related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, half (50%) think these unemployment insurance benefits should be either extended or increased.
- 72% of Kentuckians who think Congress should increase the extra unemployment benefits to more than $600 per week say they would view Senator Mitch McConnell less favorably if he voted against the extension. Just 11% say it wouldn’t make a difference in their views of McConnell.
- 63% who think the same $600 unemployment insurance should be extended say they would view Senator McConnell less favorably if he voted against the extension, while only 26% say it wouldn’t make a difference.
- Over a third (35%) of respondents who think the unemployment benefits should be decreased say Senator McConnell voting against unemployment insurance extension wouldn’t make a difference in their view of him.
- Another 36% who think Congress should end the additional unemployment benefits say it wouldn’t make a difference if Senator McConnell voted against the benefits extension.
- With a debate over whether or not Congress should extend the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), only 14% of Kentuckians think Congress should extend the program as-is, and just 5% 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 33% think Congress should start over with a new program that is more transparent.
- Additionally, Senator Mitch McConnell is underwater in approval in his home state, with a plurality (48%) disapproving of his job performance and just 43% approving. Among key independent respondents, this margin grows to 24 points (33-57).
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.