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Poll: Majority say filibuster is an important tool to protect the Senate minority

A majority of voters say they view the filibuster as an important tool to protect the rights of the minority party in the Senate and promote compromise, a new Hill-HarrisX poll finds.

Fifty-two percent of registered voters in the Jan. 28-Feb.1 survey said the filibuster is an important tool, while 48 percent said it is primarily used to promote gridlock and prevent the Senate from taking action.

Fifty-three percent of Republican voters said the filibuster is an important tool and promotes compromise while 47 percent said it is primarily used to promote gridlock.

Fifty-two percent of independent voters said the filibuster is an important tool and 48 percent said it is primarily used to promote gridlock.

The survey found Democratic respondents split on the issue, 50-50. 

Previous Hill-HarrisX data found a plurality of voters, 47 percent, including 51 percent of Democratic voters, said that the Senate should restrict use of the procedure.

The survey comes as calls mount on the left to abolish the filibuster in order to pass legislation while the Democratic Party holds a slim majority in both chambers. 

The most recent Hill-HarrisX poll was conducted online among 2,832 registered voters. It has a margin of error of 1.84 percentage points.

Gabriela Schulte