Survey finds student loan forgiveness to be a critical issue leading up to the election

Student Loan Debt Forgiveness Gains Traction Among Voters

As the 2024 presidential and congressional elections draw near, a new survey has found that almost half of all voters, or 48%, consider canceling student loan debt an important issue. The survey of 3,812 registered voters, including 2,601 Gen Z and millennial respondents, conducted by SocialSphere, revealed that younger people, Black voters, and Hispanic voters were particularly supportive of addressing student debt.

John Della Volpe, CEO of SocialSphere, noted that the majority of voters believe that taking on debt to pay for education should not result in a lifetime of financial burden. With outstanding education debt in the U.S. exceeding $1.6 trillion, and the average loan balance at graduation hovering around $30,000, the issue of student loan debt is becoming increasingly pressing.

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The survey also found that 7 in 10 voters believe that the government should take action on student loan debt. More specifically, 50% of respondents support partial or complete loan forgiveness. Among Gen Z and millennial Democrats, a staggering 81% favor loan forgiveness, indicating strong support for addressing the issue.

Interestingly, the survey highlighted some shifts in conservative attitudes towards student loan debt. About 49% of Gen Z and millennial Republicans now support some form of loan cancellation, signaling a departure from historical partisan divides on the issue. However, older generations, primarily baby boomers and the silent generation, appear less concerned about student debt, with only 37% expressing interest in the issue.

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The findings of the survey may have significant implications for the upcoming election season. President Joe Biden, who has faced challenges in securing student loan forgiveness, may find support among younger voters who prioritize addressing student debt. Conversely, the presumptive 2024 GOP presidential nominee, Donald Trump, has a history of opposing debt cancellation, which may pose challenges on the campaign trail.

Ultimately, the survey sheds light on the growing support for addressing student loan debt among voters, across party lines and generations. As the issue gains momentum in the political landscape, candidates and policymakers will need to navigate the complexities of addressing student debt to appeal to a broader voter base.

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