Americans to Trump: Hands off Big Bird!


In a new Quinnipiac University poll, American voters are telling President Trump: Keep your hands off Big Bird.

More than 1,000 American voters told pollsters they do not like the spending cuts listed in President Donald Trump’s proposed federal budget, including 70 percent opposed to eliminating the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Trump’s first budget includes deep cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency, public education, Amtrak, and the National Institutes of Health, among other programs. Voters say they like the idea of new spending on veterans and the military.

The budget also eliminates all federal funding — about $450 million a year — for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which funds National Public Radio, The Public Broadcasting Service, and 1,400 locally owned public radio and television stations nationwide.

PBS produces programs such as Keeping Up Appearances, BBC World News, NOVA, Barney and Friends, Arthur, PBS NewsHour, Walking with Dinosaurs, Masterpiece, Nature, American Masters, Frontline, Antiques Roadshow, and of course, Sesame Street.

When asked if “Eliminating the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which includes NPR and PBS, is a good idea or bad idea?” 70 percent of the 1,056 American voters polled responded “bad idea,” while 25 percent said it is a “good idea.”

Republican voters say by a margin of 47-to-41 percent that stripping NPR and PBS funding is a “good idea.” Democrats, by a margin of 93-to-5 percent, say it is a bad idea. All other demographics — including independents, men, women, whites, persons of color and all age groups — oppose taking the funding away.

There are two aspects of the budget, proposed in mid March, the American people do like.

By a margin of 85-to-13 percent, voters support increasing funding for health services provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. They also say (58-to-39 percent) that increased military spending is a “good idea,” the independent Quinnipiac University Poll finds.

By wide margins, however, American voters say other proposed cuts in the Trump budget are a “bad idea.”

For example:

  • 87-to-9 percent are against cutting funding for medical research;-
  • 84-to-13 percent are against cutting funding for new road and transit projects;
  • 67-to-31 percent are against cuts to scientific research on the environment and climate change;
  • 83-to-14 percent are against cutting funding for after school and summer school programs;
  • 66-to-27 percent are against eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities;
  • 79-to-17 percent are against eliminating the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.


Voters also say (55-to-39) percent that significantly increasing funding for charter school and private school choice programs is a “bad idea.”

“It’s a rousing ‘yes’ for healing the vets and growing the military. But when it comes to cutting public television, the arts, after school programs and scientific research to improve the environment, it’s a stern ‘hands off’ from voters,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

“And that wall? Forget it,” Malloy said. Funding a wall along the Mexican border is a “bad idea,” say 64 percent of voters, compared to 35 percent who it’s a “good idea.” Republicans support the wall 74-to-24 percent, the only party, gender, education, age or racial group included in the survey to support the idea.

In other findings, the poll shows that American voters believe President Trump should not lower taxes on the wealthy, by a margin of 74-to-22 percent, including 50 percent of Republican voters polled.

Also, a total of 73 percent of voters are “very concerned” or “somewhat concerned” about climate change and 59 percent say the U.S. should do more to address climate change. Trump should not remove specific regulations intended to combat climate change, voters say 63-to-29 percent.

From March 16 to March 21, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,056 voters nationwide. Live interviewers call landlines and cell phones. The poll has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

Bonus: Watch Stevie Wonder perform the sesame Street theme song from a 1973 appearance.



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