Poll: Majority support extension of jobless aid

A majority of the public support temporarily extending jobless aid for three months, according to a new poll. 

A Quinnipiac poll found 58 percent of voters support extending the unemployment benefits that expired for nearly 1.3 million people last month. Another 37 percent of voters oppose the extension, while 5 percent did not answer. 

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Independent voters support an extension, with 54 percent in favor and 41 percent opposed. 

Unsurprisingly, 83 percent of Democrats support extending the benefits. Only 13 percent do not. 

Only 42 percent of Republicans support the extension, while 54 percent oppose it. 

The exact wording of the question does not including whether or not those benefits should be paid for. 

It reads: “Do you think Congress should or should not approve a 3 month extension of unemployment benefits for people who are currently out of work?”

The proposal that advanced in the Senate on Tuesday with the help of six Republicans does not provide any offset. 

But the GOP, including a number of senators who voted to advance the bill, is looking to add an offset for the estimated $6.4 million price tag before a final vote. 

After the Senate vote, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said he would only back an extension if it were paid for and included other provisions to spur job creation. 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he is opposed to an offset but would be open to a “reasonable” proposal from Republicans. 

A plurality of voters — 40 percent — in the Quinnipiac poll said their lawmakers’ support for the measure would not affect their vote in the midterms. Thirty-three percent said a vote in favor of the extension would make them more likely to support a candidate, while 24 percent said the opposite. 

On increasing the minimum wage, 71 percent of voters said they support boosting it, including 52 percent of Republicans. 

The poll surveyed 1,487 registered voters and contains a 2.5 percent margin of error.