Poll: Biden's Student Loan Relief is Not Popular

On the rare occasions when Joe Biden shows up to make public remarks, he continues to bring up his various schemes to cancel student loan debt for as many people as possible, despite the Supreme Court telling him he’s not allowed to do that. He must feel that it’s very important to his reelection hopes and he clearly believes that it’s a popular idea. But is it really? Not according to a new survey from the University of Chicago and the Associated Press. The number of people who approve of the loan forgiveness plan is actually quite small (30%) and those are probably the people in his liberal base who will be more likely to vote for him anyway. A larger plurality disapproves of the idea while the remainder either don’t know or don’t care. Even the people who are carrying student debt are almost evenly split in their opinions. So who on Biden’s team keeps insisting this is a good idea?

As he campaigns for reelection, President Joe Biden frequently touts his work on student debt, pointing to the millions of people who received cancellation under his watch. Yet relatively few Americans say they’re fans of his work on the issue, even among those who have student loans.

Three in 10 U.S. adults say they approve of how Biden has handled the issue of student loan debt, while 4 in 10 disapprove, according to a new poll from the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The others are neutral or don’t know enough to say.

The outlook wasn’t much better for the Democratic president among those responsible for unpaid student loan debt, either for themselves or for a family member: 36% approve, while 34% disapprove.

The crosstabs from this survey look mostly like you would probably expect them to. Younger people are more likely to approve of a student debt relief program than older people. More than half of registered Democrats approve while only a smattering of Republicans do. The AP spoke to several people who currently are carrying student debt but still said that it wasn’t someone else’s job to pay it off for them.

I never believed that this was going to wind up being a broadly popular idea for a variety of reasons and this survey seems to support my expectations. First of all, the benefits from student debt forgiveness only accrue to a relatively small number of people. That group is made up of those who attended college, needed to take out loans to pay for it, and have not yet repaid the money. Those without degrees and those who already paid their loans off aren’t getting anything. Younger students who are making plans for college won’t be able to rely on this either because Joe Biden will be leaving office sooner or later (let’s pray that it’s sooner) and he will probably be replaced by someone who actually listens to the Supreme Court’s directives.

In the meantime, rather than increasing Joe Biden’s popularity, these schemes likely foster resentment in many people. Nobody from the federal government is coming along to pay off their mortgages, car loans, business loans, or anything else. Many of those people don’t even have college degrees and may never have the chance to make the kind of money that those with a sheepskin can bring home. (Fewer than half of adult Americans have a degree today.) But nearly all of them will be forced to carry some form of debt for a significant portion of their lives without Joe Biden offering to pay it off.

It’s possible that Joe Biden still sees this scheme as his golden ticket that will drag him across the finish line in November. No doubt his handlers are watching his support among younger voters continuing to decline and they have probably convinced him that student debt relief will bring them back into the fold. But if the results of this survey are accurate, that’s unlikely to be the case. If he got the border and crime rates under control and started bringing prices down significantly, that might work. But we shouldn’t be holding our breath for that to happen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *