Over half of Americans are tuning out the debate surrounding Congress' bipartisan infrastructure bill and Democrats' trillion-dollar spending package, despite the "feverish" high-stakes negotiations, writes Politico according to a new Politico/Harvard poll.
"Half of the public is not following this great debate at all," said Robert Blendon, a professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health who designed the poll. "And that's important because when I looked at the priorities, I see people picking things that relate to their own lives." Just 16 percent of respondents said they were "very closely" following the legislating process, most of them Republicans, per Politico.
Otherwise, "above all the other major priorities" in the two packages, both Republicans and Democrats appeared most interested in the proposal to allow the government to negotiate drug prices, according to the poll; that initiative, however, might soon be on the chopping block.
What's more, only 23 percent of those surveyed said they thought rebuilding American roads, bridges, and airports to be "extremely important," while just 15 percent agreed that high-speed internet in rural communities was vital, writes Politico. Notably, both issues are "cornerstones" of and key provisions in President Biden's agenda and infrastructure package.
"When I looked at the priorities, I was actually quite surprised because I thought infrastructure was supposed to be number one. A lot of these are very personal things that came out," Blendon said.
Politico and Harvard surveyed 1,006 adults from Sept.14-19, 2021. Results have a margin of error of 4.1 percentage points. See more results at Politico.