Majority of business leaders believe democracy is threatened: poll

Seventy-two percent of business leaders say they are concerned that U.S. democracy is under threat, according to a Morning Consult poll of 400 company executives released on the one-year anniversary of the Capitol riot.

The survey, commissioned by the research group Public Private Strategies, also found that 85 percent of business leaders believe that capitalism in the U.S. depends on a well-functioning democracy.

“This research clearly shows that the leaders in America’s business community view democracy and voting rights as an economic issue,” said Rhett Buttle, founder of Public Private Strategies. “Now, it is important that advocates, policymakers, and leaders in Congress and the administration engage the business community to advance solutions that will stabilize our democracy and protect access to the ballot for every voter.” 

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The survey found that 77 percent of business leaders support the Freedom to Vote Act, a bill to expand voting access and crack down on gerrymandering, among other measures. Another 73 percent back the John LewisJohn LewisTrump and Biden should stop denigrating US elections Democrats say change to filibuster just a matter of time Despite Senate setbacks, the fight for voting rights is far from over MORE Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would require parts of the U.S. with a history of discrimination to get federal approval to change voting laws.

Those bills have widespread Democratic support, but Republicans have enough votes in the 50-50 Senate to block the measure. Sens. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinBiden to meet with CEOs to discuss Build Back Better agenda Hoyer says 'significant' version of Build Back Better will pass this year Gallego went to New York to meet Sinema donors amid talk of primary challenge: report MORE (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten SinemaGallego went to New York to meet Sinema donors amid talk of primary challenge: report The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden's public moment of frustration The Armageddon elections to come MORE (D-Ariz.) have said they do not support overriding the 60-vote filibuster.

The Morning Consult poll found that 74 percent of respondents support amending Senate rules to pass voting rights legislation. 

The business community responded with shock to the Jan. 6 attack and subsequent GOP attempts to overturn the 2020 election results. In response, many corporations paused PAC donations to the 147 Republicans objectors, but many have resumed giving and others are preparing to do so.

Corporate America has expressed support for measures to expand voting access while pushing back on GOP bills to tighten voting rules. Many of the nation’s largest companies have pushed lawmakers to back the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. 

The poll surveyed 400 business leaders at companies with more than 250 employees between Dec. 28-30. The margin of error is 5 percentage points.