Senate

Voters split on eliminating the filibuster: poll

Greg Nash

Voters are divided over eliminating the filibuster procedure in the Senate, which would allow legislation to pass by a simple majority of 51 senators, according to a new Harvard CAPS-Harris poll.

Forty-eight percent of respondents said the move would be a bad idea, while 52 percent said it would be a good idea, according to the survey released exclusively to The Hill.

Speculation has swirled over whether Democrats will get rid of the filibuster and expand the Supreme Court.

Democrats are set to have 48 seats in the upper chamber in January. If they win both of the Georgia Senate runoff races, they will effectively have control of the Senate with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris serving as the tie-breaking vote.

“While voters decisively oppose court-packing they are more divided on whether to end the filibuster,” said Harvard CAPS-Harris polling director Mark Penn. “Given public’s lack of understanding of what the filibuster is and their desire for [a] divided government that reaches compromises I would see this as a split decision at best — they would however expect to see some cooperation on the part of Republicans to reach compromises.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) effectively shot down any plans Democrats might have to eliminate the measure earlier this month.
 
“50-50 means there’s a tie. But if one senator does not vote on the Democratic side there is no tie. … When they talk about, whether it be packing the courts or ending the filibuster, I will not vote to do that,” Manchin said in an interview with Fox News.

The senator added that if Democratic leadership tried to use the nuclear option to nix the filibuster, he would vote against it.

The Harvard CAPS-Harris poll of 2,205 registered voters was conducted between Nov. 17 and 19. It is a collaboration of the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University and The Harris Poll.

Full poll results will be posted online later this week. The survey is an online sample drawn from the Harris Panel and weighted to reflect known demographics. As a representative online sample, it does not report a probability confidence interval.

Tags Joe Manchin Mark Penn

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