Data for Progress and SBPC Release New Report and Tracking Poll Showing Sustained Public Support for Action by Biden to Cancel Student Debt for All Borrowers
June 16, 2022 | WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Data for Progress (DfP) and Student Borrower Protection Center (SBPC) released a new report detailing public opinion on student debt over the past four months. This report offers the first in-depth analysis of how political party and age shape voter attitudes on student debt. It shows that, with the exception of Republicans over age 50, a strong majority of likely voters spanning education, age, race and political party lines support action by Joe Biden to cancel some or all student debt for every borrower. The organizations also released their latest tracking poll, showing that likely voters continue to support action to cancel student debt for all borrowers by a 2:1 margin, with 60 percent of likely voters in support and 31 percent opposed.
“As President Biden works to combat rising economic anxiety felt by families across the country, he should listen to the American people and cancel student debt,” said SBPC executive director Mike Pierce. “Strong support for cancelling student debt cuts across our increasingly polarized electorate, clearing a path for President Biden to bridge the partisan divide and strengthen his standing with voters beyond his political base.”
“Student loans are an increasing burden on Americans already struggling to keep up with skyrocketing costs of living, especially to those who weren’t able to finish college,” said DfP Polling Analyst Anika Dandekar. “It’s no surprise then that large-scale student loan debt cancellation is supported across demographics, even among those who have already paid off their student loans.”
According to today’s report, likely voters ages 30 to 39– the cohort whose economic prospects were formed in the years surrounding the Great Recession– show the strongest support for government action to cancel student debt, with 84 percent of Democrats, 77 percent of Independents, and 60 percent of Republicans in this age group supporting action. This new report also finds that across all age groups, more Democrats and independents support action to cancel student debt than oppose it. However, a sharp generational divide on student debt exists among Republican likely voters.
Today’s report also shows sustained support for action to cancel student debt, as a large majority of likely voters consistently support action. Over the course of six surveys taken between February and May of this year, roughly 6-in-10 voters consistently voice support for the cancellation of some or all student debt for all borrowers, while roughly 3-in-10 likely voters oppose such an action.
New Tracking Poll Shows Voters Demand Action to Cancel Student Debt
In addition to today’s report looking at past polling data, DfP and SBPC also released their latest tracking poll finding that likely voters continue to support action to cancel student debt by a 2:1 margin. According to today’s poll, 60 percent of likely voters support action to cancel “some” or “all” student debt “for every borrower,” including 62 percent of likely voters without a college degree, 55 percent of likely voters who have never had a student loan, and 54 percent of likely voters who previously paid off a student loan.
From June 10 to 13, 2022, Data for Progress conducted a survey of 1,268 likely voters nationally using web panel respondents. The sample was weighted to be representative of likely voters by age, gender, education, race, and voting history. The survey was conducted in English. The margin of error is ±3 percentage points.
Read the full report here.
Read the latest tracking polling here.
About Data for Progress
Data for Progress is a progressive think tank and polling firm which arms movements with data-driven tools to fight for a more equitable future. DFP provides polling, data-based messaging, and policy generation for the progressive movement, and advises campaigns and candidates with the tools they need to win. DFP polling is regularly cited by The New York Times, The Washington Post, MSNBC, CBS News, and hundreds of other trusted news organizations.
About Student Borrower Protection Center
Student Borrower Protection Center is a nonprofit organization focused on alleviating the burden of student debt for millions of Americans. The SBPC engages in advocacy, policymaking, and litigation strategy to rein in industry abuses, protect borrowers’ rights, and advance economic opportunity for the next generation of students.