Breitbart News obtained an exclusive poll that details that voters overwhelmingly favor temporary emergency funding for the United States Postal Service (USPS) over increasing postal shipping rates.
Apoll from North Star Opinion Research and Hart Research Associated found that Republicans, rural voters, and seniors overwhelming support temporary financial assistance to the USPS.
Sixty-eight percent of rural voters said that the USPS is “very important” to them.
Voters across the board approve of giving funds to the USPS. The pollsters asked the following:
The Postal Service is funded entirely by the sale of postage. However, it expects to run out of funds to operate by the end of September due to the coronavirus crisis. The CARES Act passed by Congress in March provided $500 billion in taxpayer funding for airlines and other corporations, but did not include the Postal Service. Would you favor or oppose Congress appropriating funds for the U.S. Postal Service to maintain operations through the coronavirus crisis in the next round of financial relief legislation?
The USPS has roughly 496,934 career employees and serves as one of the largest employers of veterans. The Postal Service employs more than 97,000 military veterans. On its employment process page, employment requirements for the USPS include United States citizens, permanent residents, or citizens of American territories. This means that illegal immigrants cannot be employees of the Postal Services.
Ninety-two perccent of voters favor temporary funding for the Postal Service, including 90 percent of Republicans, 83 percent of independents, 90 percent of rural voters, 92 percent of non-college white voters, and 94 percent of retirees.
Further, voters believe it is better to provide federal funding to the Postal Service than to increase rates rates to make up for the loss in revenue. Seventy-eight percent of voters prefer temporary financing compared to 22 percent who want increases in shipping rates for packages. This figure includes an 74 to 26 percent margin among Republicans and an 81 to 19 percent margin among rural voters.
Further, when provided for an argument against funding, voters continue to support direct financing for the Postal Service by a broad, bipartisan margin over increasing rates.
Voters also overwhelmingly backed funding of the Postal Service by a 70 to 30 percent margin when emphasizing the need for rural Americans who rely on the USPS for delivery. Voters also approve of funding the Postal Service to aid small businesses by a 65 to 35 percent margin.
Rural voters approve of both pro-direct funding arguments, with a 77 to 23 percent margin when rural delivery is emphasized, as well as a 70 to 30 percent margin when other businesses are emphasized. Republicans prefer the direct funding method over the loan arguments by double-digits.
The poll arises as the Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service, the National Retail Federation, the Retail Industry Leaders Association, and other trade groups urged congressional leaders such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to provide relief funds to the USPS.
The industry group noted that “no business entity can withstand a 50% or more externally-imposed drop in business and revenues, as USPS projects due to COVID-19, and long survive. That is why emergency funding must be provided now.”
The industry leaders continued, noting how “fundamental” the Post Service is to American society:
The American people have been reminded during this pandemic of just how fundamental to American life the Postal Service still is. USPS is delivering prescriptions, household and business staples, groceries, Personal Protective Equipment, greeting cards and personal correspondence to bridge social distancing, Paycheck Protection Program, Social Security and tax refund checks, CDC advice cards on keeping oneself and family safe, and newspapers and magazines still vital to informing the American people. It is enabling a new wave of businesses along with the e-commerce sector to survive the pandemic through remote order and fulfillment. Postal Service delivery is essential. And it is of particularly acute need in rural areas of the country, where there are no alternatives, and often not even broadband. USPS is a lifeline there and elsewhere throughout the country during these challenging times.
As to how much is needed, we defer to the experts, the bipartisan Postal Service Board of Governors appointed by the President, and our leaders in Congress. While substantial sums are needed, they amount to a small part of the emergency funds Congress has provided and will continue to provide, including to sustain small businesses, their employees and the economy. The Postal Service is the backbone of businesses large and small in America, and must endure.
“The American people, 91% of whom approve of USPS, often raise a commotion if a single Post Office is to be closed,” the trade groups concluded in their letter to congressional leaders. “Closing the entire system or imposing a major reduction in service during this time of need would magnify that reaction substantially.”
North Star Opinion Research partnered with Hart Research Associates to conduct the national survey of 804 registered voters from April 10-12, which includes a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.