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43 Percent of Voters Say Second Stimulus Check of $1,200 Is Not Enough, Poll Finds

Newsweek logo Newsweek 8/1/2020 Benjamin Fearnow
a group of people standing around a table: More than four-in-ten American voters say a second $1,200 round of potential stimulus check payments for individuals is not enough going into the sixth month of the coronavirus pandemic. © NOAM GALAI / Contributor/Getty Images More than four-in-ten American voters say a second $1,200 round of potential stimulus check payments for individuals is not enough going into the sixth month of the coronavirus pandemic.

More than 4-in-10 American voters say a second $1,200 round of potential stimulus check payments for individuals is not enough going into the sixth month of the coronavirus pandemic.

A new poll conducted by Emerson College/Nexstar Media finds 43 percent of likely U.S. voters saying that Congress' months-long discussion over a second $1,200 stimulus relief payment does not go far enough. Washington lawmakers and the Trump administration have failed to come to any consensus over a second pandemic relief package and many Americans say individuals are receiving too much money from the federal government already. The poll shows about 20 percent of likely voters saying $1,200 in direct payments is excessive.

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The Emerson/Nexstar Media poll conducted July 29-30 finds that 39 percent of likely U.S. voters believe a second round of $1,200 direct payments is "sufficient." In terms of unemployment benefits, 45 percent of Americans said the extra $600-a-week -- which ended last week -- should be reduced. But 18 percent said that number of added weekly unemployment benefits should be increased and 37 percent said it should be extended through August.

However, direct financial aid to individual Americans seems unlikely heading into August. Senate Republicans have repeatedly rebuked the House Democratic-backed HEROES Act proposal, which sought $3 trillion in stimulus aid as a follow-up to the March CARES Act, which sent millions of Americans their first $1,200 direct deposit or checks.

South Carolina GOP Senator Lindsey Graham told Fox News this week "half of Republicans are going to vote 'no' on any more aid. That's just a fact."

Last Monday, Senate Republicans announced the HEALS Act, a $1 trillion response to the much-larger Democratic proposal. Their plan includes another $1,200 round of stimulus checks, but caps unemployment benefits and reduces the number of people eligible to receive the direct deposits. Senators including Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders have repeatedly stated they believe a proposed second round of stimulus checks should be closer to $2,000 or higher.

Newsweek reached out to the offices of Graham, Harris and Sanders for additional remarks Saturday morning.

When broken down along racial lines, white voters are far more likely to say that another round of $1,200 to individuals is sufficient, according to Emerson, while every other ethnicity says such a proposed payment does not go far enough.

The latest numbers regarding the upcoming presidential elections have changed very little over the summer months, with former Vice President Joe Biden still leading President Donald Trump by four percentage points. According to Emerson, Biden currently stands at 50 percent to Trump's 46 percent, which is a shift from the 47 to 43 percent lead he enjoyed in June's national poll.

Despite Biden's lead, a majority of likely U.S. voters -- 53 percent -- still think Trump will be re-elected on November 3.

In perhaps one of the widest statistical divides in the Emerson poll, Trump has more than double the support of voters who plan to cast their vote in-person in November. Trump leads Biden 65 percent to 32 percent among people who plan to vote in-person, compared to Biden's 76 percent to 20 percent lead among voters who plan to send their ballot in by mail.

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