Poll: Public support of filibuster reform gathers speed

Updated
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., last week.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., last week.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Public support behind reforms to end gridlock in Washington is gathering speed as a new poll shows that more Americans are behind changing filibuster rules in the Senate.

On behalf of the pro-reform group Fix The Senate Now, Public Policy Polling conducted a survey in ten select states that bleed from blue to red in party affiliations, showing that Americans support provisions that cut back on the minority party’s abuse of power in the Senate.

“The public is overwhelmingly in agreement that the Senate status quo is broken,” the survey finds. The poll—conducted in Arkansas, California, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri  Montana, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Vermont—reached 5,566 registered voters this week with survey questions framed kindly to the Democratic position on reform.

“Right now 1 in eleven federal judge positions are vacant because the Senate has’t acted on their nominations,” the survey says, largely implying that Senate Republicans are to blame. In response to that question, 75% of respondents said the judicial nomination process should be changed.

When asked if their U.S. senator should vote for “changing rules to reduce gridlock,” 61% said yes. Another 25% said senators should vote against any change.

The waning support in the filibuster comes just days after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was called on his bluff when he pushed legislation that would give the president unilateral control of the debt ceiling. The stunt forced the senator to filibuster his own bill.

Talks of reform are now on the table with a proposal from Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., who is pushing a “talking filibuster” that  would allow bills to have a fighting chance to reach the floor for debate before being filibustered. Talks of a bipartisan deal are underway as lawmakers continue to negotiate behind closed doors during the lame-duck session.

Poll: Public support of filibuster reform gathers speed

Updated