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Poll: Voters say stimulus checks should be prioritized in COVID-19 relief bill

Stimulus checks are the overwhelming favorite among voters when asked what should be prioritized in the next coronavirus relief bill, a new Hill-HarrisX poll finds.

Fifty-four percent of registered voters in the Jan. 28-29 survey said direct payments were among the top three most important measures for the next relief package. In terms of priorities, small business aid and money for COVID-19 testing and vaccinations were next on the list.

Thirty-four percent of respondents said rent and mortgage relief should be one of the top three priorities, while 32 percent said increased unemployment benefits deserved more attention.

Seven percent of respondents said there should not be another coronavirus relief package.

 

Stimulus checks were popular across party lines, garnering support from 60 percent of Democrats and 49 percent of Republicans.

For Democrats, the top three issues were stimulus checks, money for testing and vaccinations, and rent and mortgage relief.

For Republicans, it was aid for small business, stimulus checks, and funding for COVID-19 testing and vaccinations.

The top three issues for independents were stimulus checks, money for coronavirus testing and vaccinations, and aid to small business.

"Americans are experiencing wide-ranging pressures as the result of the coronavirus-induced economic crisis. Republicans are primarily focused on direct payments such as stimulus checks and aid to small business, and Democrats and independent voters have a broader range of priorities that also include providing more money for coronavirus testing and vaccinations as well as unemployment benefits and rent and mortgage relief," Dritan Nesho, CEO and chief pollster at HarrisX, told Hill.TV.

"This is the defining tug of interests for a new relief bill; the Biden administration will hold out to preserve funding for as many of these priorities as possible but is more likely to get concessions on elements that matter most to Republican voters," Nesho added.

The poll results come a day after President Biden held talks at the White House with a group of 10 Senate Republicans who put forth a $618 billion relief proposal, less than one-third the $1.9 trillion proposed by Biden.

But Biden signaled Tuesday that he's not inclined to entertain the GOP offer, calling instead for Democrats to "go big" on coronavirus relief.

The Hill-HarrisX poll was conducted online among 945 registered voters. It has a margin of error of 3.19 percentage points.

Gabriela Schulte