With Democrats running both chambers of Capitol Hill, the progressive wing of the party, led by U.S. Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has clashed with President Joe Biden over student debt loan forgiveness.

The left has been pushing back at Biden on the issue after he rejected their calls for canceling up to $50,000 in student loans.

Biden seems to have his finger closer to the pulse of the American people than his critics on the left. According to a recent survey by Yahoo Finance and the Harris Poll, more than half of Americans don’t support the level of student debt forgiveness liberals want as 54 percent of those surveyed opposing canceling student loan debt while 46 percent support the idea.

The poll found that 50 percent of Americans with a college degree making more than $100,000 a year would support debt forgiveness while 45 percent of those making less than $50,000 would support it and 35 percent of people with a high school education or less would support it.

The poll also found that 58 percent of Blacks and 54 percent of Hispanics would support some forgiveness while 42 percent of whites back the idea.

Still, Americans do not want this action coming from the White House with 59 percent saying if student debt is eliminated, Congress should do it, not the president.

Among voters, student debt forgiveness has some importance at the ballot box.

The poll finds that 66 percent of those surveyed say a candidate’s position on student debt forgiveness is at least somewhat important to them.

Younger voters believe the issue is a top concern with 72 percent of voters under 44 saying it an issue that could impact their vote.

Support of canceling student debt is on the decline with this poll representing a major drop from a Harris Poll taken at the end of December which showed 55 percent of those surveyed supporting student debt reform, including elimination while only 46 percent back the concept in the more recent survey.

The Harris pollsters noted the recent news cycle and social media conversations around student debt forgiveness may have had an impact on public opinion.

This survey was conducted online within the United States by the Harris Poll on behalf of Yahoo Finance during February 19-22, 2021, among 1,059 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.


Reach Ed Dean at ed.dean@floridadaily.com.


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