Support for President Biden’s Infrastructure Plan Split Along Party Lines, Independents Oppose It
For those who know about the Biden Infrastructure plan, support is split along party lines. 78% of GOP voters oppose the plan, 77% of democrat voters support the plan, and a majority of independents initially oppose or are unsure about the plan.
Broadly speaking, the plan presents a wedge between Americans with equal numbers supporting or opposing—and little room to draw voters to either side with a low 10% being unsure.
When voters who have heard of the bill are told about the specific infrastructure plan provisions, they begin to move toward opposition positions. And respondents who initially supported the plan, find themselves unsure and questioning their support.
Destruction of the American Economy
The most persuasive messages to move the average American voter who knows about the Biden infrastructure plan illustrate the negative effects it has on the economy. Voters are less likely to support the plan when they know:
it could result in companies cutting American jobs and operating elsewhere.
a recent study from the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) states the plan will cause a loss of 1 million full-time American jobs by 2023.
another recent study from the University of Pennsylvania states the plan will cause hourly wages to decline for the next 30 years.
the American economy will decline while foreign economies like Russia and China grow.
What is Infrastructure Spending?
Many voters are unsure about what traditional infrastructure is exactly, and respond accordingly when the term is left open-ended (27% unsure). When given more information, they oppose spending decisions that are outside the traditional scope of infrastructure.
For example, a plurality of voters are less likely to support a plan that spends $59 billion more on electric vehicles than it does on traditional infrastructure spending like roads and bridges (54%).
Are Labor Unions Infrastructure?
A feature of Biden’s infrastructure package gives money to bolster American labor unions. While Democrats support this (61%), a majority of Republican (77%) and Independent (59%) voters oppose federal dollars to support American labor unions.
Most notably, Republicans and Independents jointly oppose federal spending for labor unions when they know it could end right-to-work policies in the 27 states where they exist (74% and 59%, respectively) and it could force non-union members to pay union fees once again (76% and 60%, respectively).
Voters are particularly opposed to increasing the influence of teacher unions, which fought to keep schools closed for the past 13 months (53%). In other recent CEP polling, Democrats blamed the current inflation problems on mandated economic shutdowns. It is notable that respondents to this poll aren’t excited about giving money to groups that perpetuated them.
Independent Voter Highlight
Independent voters were particularly more likely to oppose the spending when they find out they may have been misled by elected officials on actual expenditures included in the spending package (54%). In fact, this number surpasses even the Republican voter opposition for this question (52%).
Specifically, when told that the plan designates as much as $100 billion on what is termed “environmental justice,” independents are moved to more likely oppose the plan (54%). Next to that, independents are most moved when told about the labor union provisions of the plan, which are outlined in the above section.