The poll, commissioned by the conservative Senate Opportunity Fund 501(c)4 advocacy organization, conducted by OnMessage, Inc. from January 7-9 found that 53% of likely voters support the filibuster and 27% oppose it, while another 20% were unsure or had no opinion.
An increase of support for the filibuster since June 2021, when 47% said they support it, 30% said they oppose, and 23% did not know or had no opinion, is represented in the poll.
Results are based on responses to an online survey from 800 likely voters, including an oversample of 408 likely voters states with competitive Senate races this year. The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5%.
When only considering voters in states with competitive Senate races, the filibuster still garners majority support: 51% in favor compared to 29% who opposed, with an increase from the June 2021 result of 46% in support and 32% against. The margin of error for that section was plus or minus 4.9%.
The modern legislative filibuster means most bills cannot move to a vote on final passage in the Senate without the support of at least 60 of 100 senators. In today’s evenly split Senate with 50 Republicans and 50 senators who caucus with Democrats (including independent Sens. Angus King of Maine and Bernie Sanders of Vermont), several Democratic-supported measures that easily pass the Democratic-controlled House are stalled in the Senate.
Yet after a year of mounting pressure from activist groups and other lawmakers, top Democrats now endorse eliminating the filibuster to pass election reform legislation they argue is necessary to protect voting rights. Biden fully supported the idea for the first time in a Tuesday speech in Georgia, arguing that getting rid of the filibuster to pass the For the People Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is the only way to safeguard democracy from "autocracy" and "Jim Crow 2.0.”
Wording for the question on the filibuster in the Senate Opportunity Fund/OnMessage poll was: “The ‘Filibuster’ is a rule in the Senate that requires most legislation to have 60 Votes (60% of the 100 seats currently in the Senate) rather than a bare majority of 51. Supporters of the Filibuster say this rule protects the voice of the minority and encourages compromise which is good for the country. Opponents of the Filibuster say this rule is a racist Jim Crow relic that allows the Republican minority to block popular legislation the country needs. Do you personally support or oppose the Filibuster?”