Voters Support Helping Jobless, Despite Deficit

Polls show support for extending benefits
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 15, 2010 5:30 PM CDT
In this June 23, 2010. photo, Frank Wallace, who has been unemployed since May of 2009, is seen during a rally organized by the Philadelphia Unemployment Project, in Philadelphia.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

(Newser) – Most voters are in favor of helping the unemployed even if it means adding to the deficit, writes Arthur Delaney at the Huffington Post, who rounds up recent polls:

  • A CBS survey found that 52% of respondents—including 35% of Republicans—supported extending unemployment benefits at the cost of increasing the deficit. An ABC poll had the figure at 62%.
  • In a Bloomberg poll, 70% of registered voters said controlling unemployment is more important than reducing the deficit (though only 47% supported extending the benefits beyond the usual limits).

Long-term benefits for the unemployed ended in May, after Democrats were unable to gain the necessary support to extend the payments. Last time around, pro-extension lawmakers failed to break a Republican filibuster by only a single vote. Harry Reid says Democrats will try again on Tuesday.
(Read more unemployment stories.)

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