POLL: Build Back Better Act Underwater In Key Swing Districts

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Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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The $3.5 trillion Build Back Better Act has a more than 50% disapproval rating in three key swing districts, a new poll released Wednesday shows.

The poll found that more than 50% of voters in Iowa’s Third District, New Jersey’s Seventh District, and Virginia’s Second District oppose the social spending package, which Democrats are hoping to pass through the budget reconciliation process. American Action Network, a center-right advocacy group, commissioned the poll of 400 registered voters in each jurisdiction for internal Republican Party use. The poll was conducted from Sept. 18-21 and has a 4.9% margin of error.

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) is targeting all three districts for Republican pickups in the 2022 midterms, Roll Call reported in February. Former President Donald Trump won Iowa’s Third District during the 2020 presidential election, and the other two districts were won by then-candidate Joe Biden.

The new poll is a major blow to top Democrats who have argued that the social spending package is broadly popular with Americans. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has shared polling showing that the package has the support of 66% of Americans, including 61% of independents. Congressional Progressive Caucus members pointed to a Quinnipiac University poll showing 62% support for a $3.5 trillion spending bill in a CNN op-ed published Monday. (RELATED: Jayapal Accuses Moderates Of Being ‘Willing To Crash Entire Democratic Agenda’)

Support for the package among swing district voters shrunk when a pollster informed them of certain provisions in the legislation. Opposition rose above 80% in all three districts when voters were told that the legislation “increased taxes on the majority of small businesses in the country,” above 70% when voters were told that the legislation provides “$200 million for a park in Nancy Pelosi’s district,” and above 60% when voters were told that the legislation offers “tax breaks to newspapers for every reporter they hire.”

Democrat Tom Malinowski, who represents New Jersey’s Seventh District, has threatened to oppose the Build Back Better Act if it does not eliminate the state and local tax (SALT) deduction cap. Democratic Virginia Rep. Elaine Luria is currently being targeted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to oppose the legislation. She has not taken a strong position on the package.