I’ve pointed out repeatedly that, on issue after issue – support for clean energy and climate action, support for universal background checks on gun purchases, support for restoring voting rights to ex-felons, support for nonpartisan redistricting, support for raising the minimum wage, support for LGBT equality, support for Medicaid expansion, etc, etc. – Virginians fall into the progressive camp, often by overwhelming majorities.
Today, we have yet another example, courtesy of Public Policy Polling. This poll finds strong support among national (see memo below) and Virginia voters for things like: “a law creating a national paid family and medical leave fund designed to provide people with some of their usual pay for up to 12 weeks of leave from their jobs to deal with a serious illness, to care for a new child or to care for a family member with a serious illness” (63%-34%); “a proposed law guaranteeing that working people in the U.S. can earn up to 7 paid sick days each year from their employer to use if they or a family member has a routine illness like the flu or needs to see a doctor” (73%-23%); “a law that increases access to highquality, affordable childcare” (61%-30%). Also note that Virginia voters would be more likely to support candidates who agree with these positions.
Which leaves a couple big questions: 1) why don’t Republicans do what the voters want them to do?; and 2) why don’t voters kick their sorry butts out of office at the first possible opportunity?
From: Public Policy Polling®
To: Interested Parties
Subject: Voters in 15 States Support a National Paid Family and Medical Leave Fund by Nearly Two-to-One Margin, Also Strongly Supportive of Paid Sick Days and High Quality, Affordable Childcare
Date: July 12, 2016
A new Public Policy Polling survey finds that 7 in 10 voters in 15 states say that they and people close to them face hardships when managing their work, family and personal responsibilities and nearly 6 in 10 would face significant economic hardships if they had to take time from their jobs to care for a new child or deal with a serious personal or family illness.
In light of these challenges, it is not surprising that 61 percent of voters across the states surveyed –support the creation of a national paid family and medical leave fund to provide working people with a portion of their pay for up to 12 weeks away from their jobs to care for a new child, or deal with a personal or family member’s serious illness, compared to only 34 percent who oppose. In addition, supporters of the national fund show significantly more intensity than opponents: nearly 50 percent of voters in several states, including Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, and Virginia, strongly favor the creation of a national paid family and medical leave fund, while only 21 percent strongly oppose. A majority of voters in the 15 states believe that a national paid leave fund will make the nation better off. Support for other policies, including paid sick days and quality, affordable childcare also garger strong voter support.
Majorities of voters in the states surveyed say that elected officials and candidates who support paid leave and paid sick days are more likely to win their votes, yet most have not heard candidates speak much about these policies. This gap suggests an opportunity for candidates to connect with voters on these issues.
Key findings from the survey include:
- Paid leave is particularly popular with women, with more than two-thirds supporting the creation of a national paid family and medical fund across each of the fifteen states. But it is also popular with men in the 15 states, more than a majority of whom favor the creation of a national paid leave fund.
- Overall, a majority of voters in the 15 states believe a national paid family and medical leave fund would make the country better off, while only 26 percent think it would make the country worse off.
- Democrats in every state are strongly supportive of a national paid family and medical leave fund (84 percent in favor, averaged across the 15 states). Independents tip in favor of national paid leave when averaged across the 15 states, and show particular support in Arizona (57 percent favor, 40 percent oppose), Iowa (60 percent favor, 39 percent oppose), North Carolina (55 percent favor, 44 percent oppose) and Pennsylvania (55 percent favor, 39 percent oppose).
- Overall support for creating a national paid leave fund is 60 percent in 13 of the 15 states, and over 58 percent in the other two. Voters in North Carolina (68 percent) are particularly supportive.
- 70 percent of voters have not heard much or anything at all from candidates running for office on the issue of paid leave, but voters are more likely to support candidates in favor of creating a national paid family and medical leave fund, suggesting there is potential for support to grow with increased awareness .
Other federal proposals to provide economic security for working families – such as earned paid sick days and affordable child care – are also strongly popular with voters in the 15 states, and candidates are likely to benefit from aligning with these policies.
- Paid sick days provide the strongest electoral boost for candidates: Nearly half of voters in the 15 states say they are more likely to support candidates who favor a national paid sick days policy, while only a quarter of voters would be less likely. More than two-thirds of voters in each of the 15 states surveyed support a law that would guarantee seven paid sick days each year for employees to use if they or a family member needs care.
- Approximately 60 percent of voters in the states support a law that would increase access to high-quality, affordable child care – double the level of opposition to such a law.
The poll also found that strong levels of economic anxiety are prevalent throughout the country today. Most Americans surveyed report that they are just one emergency away from facing significant economic hardship if they needed time from work to deal with a serious personal or family illness or a new baby.
- Roughly seven in 10 of voters in the 15 states surveyed say they face economic hardship when it comes to managing work, family, and personal responsibilities. This exceeds 75 percent in states like Georgia, North Carolina, Nevada, Oregon, and Pennsylvania.
- Nearly 60 percent of voters in the 15 states consider it very or somewhat likely they would face significant economic hardship if they were to take time away from their jobs because of a medical emergency or to care for a new child.
PPP surveyed 9,611 U.S. voters in 15 states from July 7-10, 2016. The data reported here is aggregated and averaged across those states.The margin of error is +/-1.0%. This poll was conducted by automated telephone interviews.