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New Poll Cites Importance of Postal Service to Seniors/Vets; NALC Calls On Congress to Provide USPS With Financial Relief During Pandemic

An overwhelming majority of registered voters aged 60 or above support federal financial assistance for the United States Postal Service in the next round of financial relief legislation, to allow USPS to survive the effects of the pandemic. Military veterans of the same age concur, at even higher rates.

Both groups, furthermore, say that their votes in the fall election will be strongly influenced by whether their elected representatives help provide the Postal Service with the same support provided to other sectors of the economy.

Eighty-nine percent of those surveyed support congressional assistance; the figure is 90 percent among veterans. The support cuts across party lines, with 83 percent of Republicans, 89 percent of Independents and 97 percent of Democrats agreeing. It also transcends geographic regions (Heartland voters lead with 93 percent support). On support for USPS, there also are no rural-suburban-urban divisions.

Sixty-four percent of those surveyed said they would be less likely to vote for lawmakers who oppose federal support for USPS; a figure that rises to 70 percent among veterans 60 or above.

What makes the findings particularly noteworthy is that voters aged 60 and above lean conservative, compared to the general electorate. They voted for President Trump by a 52-42 percent margin in 2016, for example (for veterans the margin was 57-39 percent) and describe themselves as conservative rather than liberal by a 41 to 20 percent margin.

Underlying these sentiments is the nearly unanimous agreement that the Postal Service is important to their lives and well-being--a view shared by 96 percent of those polled and an extraordinary 99 percent of veterans--reflecting in part the fact that USPS is the country's largest civilian employer of military veterans, and that millions of veterans get their VA medications and other important deliveries through the Postal Service. Ninety-seven percent of rural voters and 94 percent of Republican voters agree.

The poll shows overwhelming preference for financial assistance as opposed to other options including raising rates or federal loans.

Thus far during the pandemic, Congress has not passed any direct funding relief for the Postal Service, despite calls from stakeholders. The House recently approved $25 billion in the Heroes Act, but the Senate has yet to act.

The poll of 1,200 registered voters aged 60 or older, which included a substantial subset of 336 veterans, was conducted online from July 9 to July 15 by Hart Research Associates and North Star Opinion Research and was commissioned by the National Association of Letter Carriers. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.