Ipsos/Newsy survey finds registered voters support student debt forgiveness — even after paying off loans

Courtney Lewis
Jul 3 · 3 min read

May 23, 2019

The survey findings will be revealed in Newsy’s “Off The Trail” series, focusing on core issues in the 2020 presidential campaign.

An Ipsos/Newsy survey published Thursday found that a majority of registered voters support some form of student debt forgiveness, with 85% of respondents who still carry debt saying they support forgiveness and 55% of respondents who had already paid off their student loan debt supporting the initiative.

The survey is part of Newsy’s “Off The Trail” series, which digs into the issues at the heart of the 2020 campaign trail. The series’ first episode focuses on student debt, unpacking proposals from 2020 presidential candidates and hearing from Sen. Elizabeth Warren on her plan. The episode debuts on Newsy’s “The Day Ahead” at 7 a.m. ET on Thursday, May 23. Following the cable release, it will be available to stream across Newsy’s over-the-top platforms and at newsy.com.

“Our ‘Off The Trail’ series provides a deep dive into the issues our viewers truly care about in the 2020 race — issues like student debt, climate change and the gig economy,” said Zach Toombs, Executive Producer for Newsy Documentaries. “By partnering with Ipsos, we’re identifying those core issues and getting answers to important questions about what the public really thinks.”

Of all the policy proposals on student debt presented in the survey, the widest support among all registered voters came for lower interest rates on student loans (88%), with majority support among both Democrats and Republicans. Increased grant funding also received heavy support (73%). Limiting the amount of student loans that parents and graduate students can borrow from the federal government received the least support (48%) among the ideas presented, though no proposal received net negative support.

“While Americans across the board want higher education to be more affordable and accessible, there are differing views on how to get there,” said Mallory Newall, Research Director at Ipsos Public Affairs. “Republicans are less supportive than Democrats of federally funded college tuition and student debt forgiveness. And it’s the younger generations that are more in favor of sweeping reforms to lower the cost of higher education.”

The survey also gauged support from Democrats and Independents for a variety of policy ideas that have surfaced in the Democratic presidential primary. From a list of 10 policy proposals, Medicare for All (36%) and universal background checks for gun purchases (33%) are the biggest policy determinants of candidate support from those voters. Student debt forgiveness is ranked as the fifth most important among those Democrat and Independent registered voters (15%). However, among millennial and Generation Z Democrats and Independents (ages 18–38), student debt forgiveness is a top-tier policy issue (24%), alongside universal background checks for gun purchases (26%) and Medicare for All (28%).

New episodes of “Off The Trail” will air monthly leading up to the 2020 presidential primaries on Newsy’s cable channel, streaming platforms and on-demand at newsy.com. To find all the ways to watch Newsy, visit newsy.com/platforms. Newsy is a wholly owned subsidiary of The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP).

The Ipsos/Newsy poll was conducted May 8–13, 2019 using a sample of roughly 2,008 adults 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii. The sample includes 1,640 registered voters, 469 millennial and Generation Z registered voters (ages 18–38), 428 Generation X registered voters (ages 39–54), and 743 baby boomer registered voters (ages 55+).

About Newsy
Newsy is the leading cross-platform television news network that provides “news with the why,” built to inform and engage by delivering the top stories across every platform. Its content is available on cable; on over-the-top services including Hulu, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Sling TV, and Pluto TV; and on connected television including Xumo. Newsy is also available via its mobile apps and at newsy.com.

About Ipsos
Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. Ipsos ranks fourth in the global research industry. With offices in 89 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across five research specializations: brand, advertising and media; customer loyalty; marketing; public affairs research; and survey management.

Newsy Company News

Be informed — not influenced — with Newsy’s anti-partisan approach to news. Get the facts without pundits and opinions. For people who aren’t satisfied getting only the loudest part of the story, Newsy delivers honest, in-depth context on stories that matter.

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