Press release

New Polling: Voters Overwhelmingly Support Reform or Elimination of Filibuster

Fix Our Senate

The more voters learn about the filibuster and its impact on our democracy, the more they support reform; 70% of voters want to reform or eliminate filibuster

Read the new filibuster polling memo here with key findings and implications

Washington, DC — New nationwide polling released today by Fix Our Senate reveals that reforming the filibuster is remarkably popular among diverse segments of the electorate, and the more voters learn about the filibuster and its impact on our democracy, the more they support filibuster reform and elimination. Garin-Hart-Yang and Global Strategy Group conducted the poll of more than 1,200 2020 voters between April 13-19, 2021 on behalf of Fix Our Senate.

Read the poll memo here.

Among the key poll findings:

Voters’ background knowledge of the filibuster is limited, and they are highly receptive to new information and messaging in favor of reform.

  • 36% of voters (including 45% of swing voters) initially say they don’t know enough to have an opinion about reforming the filibuster, and only 20% indicate that they understand what the filibuster is very well.
  • After hearing arguments for and against the filibuster and reading a series of reasons to reform the filibuster, support increases to 65% in favor of reform (only 35% say to keep the filibuster as it is). Black voters, white women, and swing voters all increase support for reform by large margins after messaging.

70% of voters ultimately support reform or elimination of filibuster.

  • When asked to identify their preferred action on the filibuster after hearing arguments for and against reform, only 30% of voters would prefer the status quo of the filibuster compared to 70% who say they would reform (48%) or eliminate it (22%).

By a 62-38% margin, voters believe the filibuster as it currently stands does more to create gridlock than bipartisan compromise.

  • Large majorities of voters across the country believe that allowing a minority of senators to filibuster contributes more to gridlock than compromise, including large majorities of Democrats and swing voters.

The strongest case for filibuster reform highlights how reform will improve the way Congress operates so that government works for the people and will help advance progress on important issues.

  • The idea that government should work for the people—not politicians—is the top reason (48%) to support reform for the electorate at large and across partisan groups (Dems: 49%; Swing: 51%; Reps: 46%).
  • Persuadable voters also respond to the argument that reform will help speed progress on important issues.

Eli Zupnick, spokesperson for Fix Our Senate, issued the following statement:

"The more Americans learn about the filibuster and the way it is used as a tool of partisan gridlock, the more they want to change the status quo and make their government work for the people—not politicians.

As the Senate marks up the For the People Act and Republicans threaten to block this essential legislation, the filibuster is moving from an abstract conversation about Senate rules to a very clear choice for Senate Democrats: protect the ‘Jim Crow’ filibuster or protect American democracy—they won’t be able to do both.”