Poll: Majority of voters now say the government should have a universal basic income program


A majority of voters believe the government should have a universal basic income program, up from 12 percentage points in 2019, a new Hill-HarrisX poll finds.

Fifty-five percent of registered voters in the Aug. 2-5 survey were in support of universal basic income, while 45 percent were not.

The Hill-HarrisX poll found support for the program has gradually grown in the past year. 

In a February 2019 survey, 43 percent of voters said the government should have universal basic income and in a September 2019 survey, support grew 6 percentage points to 49 percent.

The survey found an increase in support across demographic groups, primarily among younger voters and Democratic voters.

Sixty-nine percent of voters ages 18 to 34 and 35 to 49 were in favor of universal basic income, a 14 percentage point and 16 percentage point increase, respectively.

Support has not yet reached the majority among older voters in the survey, however, it grew from 21 percent in February 2019 to 34 percent in August 2020 among voters 65 years old and beyond.

Seventy-one percent of Democratic voters and 56 percent of independent voters believe the government should have a universal basic income program, a 15 and 12 percentage point increase from last February, respectively.

Among Republican voters, support grew from 27 percent last winter to 34 percent support in August 2020.

The proposal has gained momentum since former White House hopeful, Andrew Yang, made universal basic income the primary focus in his presidential campaign.

The program has garnered enough traction to inspire global basic income marches, with the second annual march set to occur this fall.

The Hill-HarrisX poll was conducted online among 2,850 registered voters between Aug. 2 and 5. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.84 percentage points.

— Gabriela Schulte

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