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A new poll shows that 85 percent of voters in battleground states support a federal paid leave program. And 65 percent of those polled said they would be motivated to vote based on the federal paid leave issue.

A November 2023 poll by Lake Research Partners (a Democratic polling firm) asked 1,000 voters in Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Georgia, Florida, and Ohio—all swing states for the 2024 elections—about a federal paid leave program. Results show that federal paid leave not only is an issue widely supported by all political subgroups, but also one that will motivate voter turnout.

Specifically, the poll found that 96 percent of Democrats, 82 percent of Independents, and 76 percent of Republicans favor the creation of a federal paid parental, family, and medical leave program. Some 96 percent of young voters favor such a program, as do 85 percent of suburban women (key voter blocs for 2024, election experts say).

On voter turnout, the poll found that some 80 percent of millennial and Gen Z voters (generally characterized as low-turnout voting groups) say a paid leave program would motivate them to vote. The numbers are even higher for young women (80 percent) and black women (90 percent).

The poll makes clear that “these issues are not simply workplace perks, but they are core economic issues for voters,” National Partnership for Women & Families President Jocelyn Frye said. “It’s a tool to encourage policymakers to understand that this is an issue you can run on — and when you do run on it and win on it, people expect you to deliver.”

Paid leave policies—whether proposed at the federal level or in place in the states/local jurisdictions—can have a significant impact on disability income programs. Thus, this is an issue NAIFA watches carefully.

Prospects: There has long been bipartisan support for a federal paid leave program, and President Biden campaigned in 2020 on a program that would provide up to 12 weeks of paid leave. However, there is sharp disagreement among lawmakers, largely but not entirely broken down by party lines, on how to structure and pay for such a program. However, this polling and election-year campaign messaging suggests that many, if not all, candidates for the House, Senate, and the presidency in 2024 will make a federal paid leave program a priority issue.

NAIFA Staff Contact: Jayne Fitzgerald – Director – Government Relations, at jfitzgerald@naifa.org.