Poll Finds Voters Agree Rising National Debt Is a Major Concern

June 11, 2019 by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON – Whether they describe themselves as Republicans, Democrats, or supporters of a third party, America’s voters believe the nation’s ability to address important issues is inextricably tied to the national debt, a new poll finds.

The poll, released Tuesday as part of 2019 Fiscal Summit presented by the Peter G. Petersen Foundation, was jointly conducted by the Global Strategy Group, a Democratic polling firm, and North Star Opinion Research, a Republican polling firm.

The pollsters found that 92% of voters agree that managing the national debt will “lead to a better future for the next generation of Americans,” with 71% of respondents saying they strongly agree with that statement.

The belief also strongly crossed party lines, with 92% of Democrats, 94% of Republicans and 91% of Independent voters agreeing future generations of Americans will be better off if the national debt is addressed.

Among younger voters, those age 18-34, 95% agree that managing the debt will lead to a better future. This included 76% of younger voters who “strongly agree.”

A large majority of voters, 86%, agreed “managing the debt will make the economy more stable.” Again, voters across party lines agreed, with 86% of Democrats, 87% of Republicans, and 85% of Independents subscribing to that belief.

Voters also overwhelmingly said they view the national debt as a national security issue and a determinant of America’s standing in the world. A strong 79% agreed “managing the debt will strengthen American’s standing as a world leader.” This sentiment was shared by 77% of Democrats, 80% of Republicans, and 81% of Independents.

Similarly, 76% of voters agreed that “managing the debt will strengthen our national security.” This belief was shared by 73% of Democrats, 83% of Republicans and 81% of Independents.

The solvency of major federal programs — including Social Security and Medicare — was also identified as a priority for voters.

Eight in ten voters (80%) agreed that “managing the debt will help ensure that Social Security will have funding in the future,” while 79% said the same of Medicare.

Large majorities of voters recognized that managing the national debt will increase the country’s ability to make investments in infrastructure (81% agree), education (79% agree), and health care (72% agree).

The poll was a live telephone survey of 1,001 registered voters nationwide conducted between May 20 and 23, 2019. It has a margin of error of +/- 3.1%.

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