American Public Strongly Backs U.S. Senate Rules Reform

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New PPP Polling in 10 States Finds that Country is Tired of Washington Gridlock;
Public Overwhelmingly Supports Senate Rules Changes & Proposed Reforms

New polling released today finds overwhelming public support for changing the U.S. Senate rules in order to cut down on gridlock and obstruction. Both in regards to the overall concept of Senate rules reform and on the details of specific reform provisions, Americans want their Senators to help make rules reform a reality.

Conducted by Public Policy Polling (PPP) in 10 states – Arkansas, California, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and Vermont – the polling found broad support for Senate rules changes, strong opposition to the way the filibuster is currently deployed and abused, and worry over the continued consequences of Senate obstruction on the judiciary and basic governance.

Additionally, in each state polled, voters want their own Senator to back the rules reform effort. Specifically, the aggregate results of the PPP polling in 10 states found:

  • The public is overwhelmingly in agreement that the Senate status quo is broken . The poll finds that Americans recognize the damage of unprecedented gridlock and Senate obstruction. A whopping 81% of poll respondents said the U.S. Senate “does not deal with important issues facing the country in a timely manner,” while only 14% believed the Senate addressed key challenges in a timely manner.
  • The public wants their Senators to back the rules reform effort . Overwhelmingly, 61% of the public supports their U.S. Senator voting to change the Senate rules to address and cut down on gridlock. Only 25% wanted their Senator to vote against changing the Senate rules. Notably, support for Senators’ voting to change the rules coursed across party lines, with Democrats favoring their Senator voting to change the rules by a 73%-14% margin; Independents by a 61%-25% margin; and Republicans by a 44%-40% margin.
  • The public overwhelmingly supports the major provisions of Senate rules reform . By a 62%-28% margin, the public backs the concept of only allowing one opportunity to filibuster a bill instead of the four different opportunities to filibuster that the current Senate rules allow. Similarly, the public is overwhelmingly supportive of the reform provision that would make Senators who want to filibuster a bill have to continue to debate the bill on the Senate floor, backing this provision by a 70%-20% margin.
  • The public is concerned about how Senate gridlock affects the judiciary and supports related reforms . The poll found broad support for the idea that “people who have been nominated to serve as judges have an up or down vote on their nominations in a more timely manner,” with 75% of respondents favoring and only 17% opposed to the idea.

To access the PPP polling results on Senate rules reform, visit http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/pdf/2011/AggregatedResults.pdf

For more on the need for Senate rules reform, please visit www.fixthesenatenow.org


Contact: Michael Earls at 202-261-2388, media@fixthesenatenow.org