Washington D.C. – Today, government watchdog Accountable.US released results of a Public Policy Polling survey finding that 50 percent of respondents in North Carolina support Congress extending or increasing the CARES Act’s $600 extra federal unemployment benefits that are responding to the continuing economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. Only 14% of North Carolina respondents think Congress should end the extra benefits. 73% of North Carolinians who think Congress should increase the extra unemployment benefits to more than $600 per week say they would view Senator Thom Tillis less favorably if he voted against the extension.
Additionally, the survey found 52 percent of North Carolinians think President Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic 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:
- 73% of North Carolinians who think Congress should increase the extra unemployment benefits to more than $600 per week say they would view Senator Thom Tillis less favorably if he voted against the extension. Just 19% say it wouldn’t make a difference in their views of Tillis.
- 71% who think the same $600 unemployment insurance should be extended say they would view Senator Tillis less favorably if he voted against the extension, while only 17% say it wouldn’t make a difference.
- 37% of respondents who think the unemployment benefits should be decreased say Senator Tillis voting against unemployment insurance extension would cause them to view him less favorably, while nearly a third (30%) say it wouldn’t make a difference in their view of him. Just 26% say they would view him more favorably.
- With a debate over whether or not Congress should extend the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), just 15% of North Carolinians think Congress should extend the program as-is, and only 6% 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 (44%) think the program should be extended but fixed to prioritize small businesses, and another 29% think Congress should start over with a new program that is more transparent.
- President Trump is underwater in overall approval in North Carolina by a 7-point margin (45-52).
- 52% of North Carolinians think President Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has made America less safe, while just 44% think America is safer.
- North Carolinians are closely divided in opinion on President Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the economic downturn resulting from it: 51% disapprove of his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, while 50% approve. Another 50% disapprove of Trump’s handling of the economic downturn during the coronavirus pandemic, while 48% approve.
- Senator Thom Tillis is unpopular in his home state, with his approval being underwater by 22 points (29-51).
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.