Elizabeth Warren's plan to cancel 42 million Americans' student-loan debt could give her a huge boost in the 2020 race

Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesSen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) attends the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network post-midterm election meeting in the Kennedy Caucus Room at the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill November 13, 2018 in Washington, DC.
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Democrat and 2020 presidential candidate, made headlines last week when she unveiled an ambitious proposal to cancel student-loan debt and make public college free for all.
  • A new INSIDER poll found that a big majority – 77% – of likely Democratic primary voters support Warren’s plan to cancel 42 million Americans’ student debt. 36% of Democratic voters said they strongly support it.
  • Overall, 57% of Americans at least somewhat support Warren’s plan, while 21% at least somewhat oppose it.
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A large majority of likely Democratic primary voters – 77% – support Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s $US1.25 trillion plan to cancel tens of millions of Americans’ student debt, according to a new INSIDER poll.

The Massachusetts Democrat’s proposal would forgive $US50,000 in student loan debt for every American whose family makes up to $US100,000, and households that make between $US100,000 and $US250,000 would get a sliding portion of their debt cancelled. In addition, Warren’s plan would make all public higher education, including community colleges, tuition- and fee-free.

INSIDER’s poll found 36% of likely Democratic primary voters strongly support Warren’s debt cancellation plan, 25% support it, and 16% somewhat support it. 10% of Democratic voters at least somewhat oppose the plan.

Read more:
57% of Americans who’ve already paid off their student loans support Elizabeth Warren’s plan to cancel 42 million Americans’ college debt

Overall, 57% of Americans at least somewhat support the 2020 candidate’s debt cancellation proposal and 21% opposed the measure. 13% of respondents did not either support or oppose the idea while 9% said they didn’t know how they felt about the plan.

The plan found majority support among those who wouldn’t benefit from debt cancellation directly, including those who’ve already paid off their student loans, who never took out loans, or who did not attend college or graduate school.

Warren’s plan is vast in scope: it would eliminate all student debt for 75% of Americans who have it, and get rid of at least some debt for 95% of the almost 45 million affected Americans, according to an analysis by four social policy professors released by Warren’s campaign.

Read more:
Elizabeth Warren is trying to tackle the skyrocketing cost of education with a plan to forgive student-loan debt and offer free college – but experts are divided on her ambitious idea

The popularity of Warren’s student debt cancellation plan may well shift the debate within the Democratic presidential primary over how to make college more affordable. While nearly every 2020 Democrat supports some version of debt-free college, Warren’s plan is much more wide-ranging than the proposals from the competition.

This isn’t the first time Warren’s staked out the most ambitious policy position in the 2020 field. She’s already rolled out policies including a universal childcare plan, an ultra-millionaire tax, and a plan to break up tech giants like Amazon and Facebook.

SurveyMonkey Audience polls from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender. Respondents are incentivized to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital polling tends to skew toward people with access to the internet. SurveyMonkey Audience doesn’t try to weight its sample based on race or income. This survey had a total 1,144 respondents, a margin of error plus or minus 3.07 percentage points with a 95% confidence level.

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