A majority of Georgia voters support President Biden's student-loan forgiveness plan, poll says

A majority of Georgia voters support President Biden's student-loan forgiveness plan, poll says
George Washington University student Kai Nilsen and other student loan debt activists rally outside the White House a day after President Biden announced a plan that would cancel $10,000 in student loan debt for those making less than $125,000 a year in Washington, DC, on August 25, 2022.Photo by Craig Hudson for The Washington Post via Getty Images
  • A new AJC poll showed that 54% of Georgia voters backed Biden's student-loan forgiveness plan.
  • Biden last month announced his plan to cancel up to $20,000 in student-loan debt for most borrowers.

A majority of Georgia voters expressed support for President Joe Biden's plan to cancel up to $20,000 in student-loan debt for borrowers, according to a new poll from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

In the survey, 54% of likely voters indicated that they supported the president's debt-cancellation plan — 36% of respondents indicated that they "strongly" supported it, while 18% expressed that they were "somewhat" supportive of the framework.

The poll also showed that 42% of respondents were opposed to the forgiveness plan, with 34% expressing strong opposition and 8% stating that they were "somewhat" opposed to the Biden policy goal.

The president in August announced that he would forgive $10,000 in federal student-loan debt for borrowers earning under $125,000 per year, with up to $20,000 in relief for those who received Pell grants and fall under the same income threshold.

The plan also caps the monthly repayment of federal student loans at 5% of an individual's income through a new income-driven repayment plan, along with the president's fifth — and final — extension of the student-loan payment pause through December 31.


Most Democrats, especially among the party's progressive flank, cheered the move. But Republicans have painted the plan as a giveaway that would burden taxpayers and blasted him for what they contend is his failure to address the high cost of tuition in higher education.

The same poll showed Biden's job approval rating in the state at 37%, with 58% disapproving of his performance.

Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock, who is locked in a tough reelection battle against former NFL player Herschel Walker, has been one of the most forceful advocates of student loan relief.

"Easing student debt will provide long-term benefits for hardworking Georgians of all ages, as well as our economy," he tweeted after Biden announced his plan last month. "I'm grateful President Biden has listened to me & the people of Georgia."

Warnock also said that he would "keep fighting for additional student relief" by focusing on college affordability and pushing for the creation of more job-workforce programs.


Walker said during a recent campaign event that Biden's student-loan forgiveness plan was "not right."

Kemp, who is running for reelection against Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams, recently signed onto a letter with 21 other Republican governors that urged Biden to "immediately" scrap his student loan framework.

"Rather than addressing the rising cost of tuition for higher education or working to lower interest rates for student loans, your plan kicks the can down the road and makes today's problems worse for tomorrow's students," the letter read.

Abrams has praised Biden's plan and last month used the president's announcement to take a swipe at Kemp's policies.

"For everyone of those who are complaining, where were you when Brian Kemp gave a tax cut to billionaires and millionaires?" Abrams said during an event in Camilla, Ga., per the Journal-Constitution.


"If they can have $10,000, so can our young people trying to get on their feet," she added.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution polled 861 likely Georgia voters from September 5 through September 16; the survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.