Poll: Only 1/3 of Americans Believe Democrats’ Massive Coronavirus Relief Bill Will Benefit Them

US President Joe Biden waits to speak in the Oval Office of the White House before a meeting with members of Congress about the American Jobs Plan April 12, 2021, in Washington, DC. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

A Politico-Harvard poll shows that while more Americans think life will return to normal when the coronavirus pandemic is over, only one third of them credit the government for helping them recover.

The poll, which surveyed 1,008 adults from March 16 to March 21, found that only one-third of respondents — including Democrats — think the Democrats massive coronavirus legislation will help them personally, Politico reported, calling it “one of the largest economic rescue plans in American history.”

No Republicans support the bill.

Politico reported: 

The stimulus itself has generally polled well, but the new survey indicates President Joe Biden and his party face a challenge convincing voters they got major help from the sweeping legislation, which in addition to new checks to Americans included an extension of jobless benefits, a major expansion of Obamacare subsidies and the child tax credit, and a flood of new public health resources to help quash the pandemic. 

The sentiment could also be a sign of the political challenges Democrats may face selling another giant relief package focused on infrastructure now being assembled in Congress, with support from Republican lawmakers again unlikely.

The new poll shows Democrats were almost twice as likely as Republicans to believe they would get a lot of help from the stimulus package, while just over one-third of Republicans and one-quarter of independents said they didn’t expect any benefit. Still, another 38 percent of Americans expected to receive at least some help, an opinion shared almost evenly among Democrats, Republicans and independents.

“With something this giant, I’d expect more,” Robert Blendon, a professor of health policy and political analysis at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, who designed the poll, said in the Politico piece. “If I were a Democrat, I’d say we have to explain more of what’s in it and how it will help the average person.”

Other findings of the poll include:

• Three-quarters of parents and guardians of school-age children said they want them back in the classroom during the next school year. Only 13 percent said they preferred remote learning and 16 percent said they want classroom and remote learning combined.

• A slight majority of working adults across political parties said they would like to return to the workplace after the crisis ends. Only 16 percent said they would like to permanently work from home. One in four said they would like to split work between home and the workplace.

• A large share of Americans support requiring public school teachers to get vaccinated, including 76 percent of parents.

• Nearly 70 percent of Democrats support employer vaccination requirements, compared to 43 percent of Republicans and 54 percent of independents.

The poll margin of error was +/- 3.6 percentage points for the full sample and +/- 9.4 percentage points for questions asked of parents or guardians of children in grades K-12.

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