New national poll finds 4 in 5 Americans support paid time off for caregiving responsibilities

A new poll from Navigator shows that more people want paid family and medical leave than they do pumpkin spice lattes this fall. The poll, released on the first full day of fall, shows that Americans care more about caregiving than they do the popular fall drink. While only 42 percent of people have a favorable opinion of pumpkin spice lattes, 4 in 5 Americans support paid time off for caregiving responsibilities.

The poll comes at a crucial time, with midterm elections less than two months away and Congress nearing the end of its legislative work period. The outcomes of the polling also show just how strongly respondents feel about paid leave, and highlight three arguments that people find most convincing:

  • Paid leave helps everyone in families, from infants and toddlers to moms and dads.
  • Paid leave improves health outcomes for newborns, reduces postpartum depression, and reduces nursing home usage.
  • Paid leave programs boost morale and reduce employee turnover.

The poll also shows that likely voters would be more likely to support a candidate who supports paid family and medical leave.

With Americans still stunned that the U.S. is the only remaining wealthy country that does not offer paid time off work to care for a new child, the new data could be very telling.

“We’ve seen the increasing turnout of people of color in recent elections, and this new poll makes clear what voters care about across race and ethnicity,” said Jocelyn Frye, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families. “Our nation’s leaders must stop ignoring what the data tell us time and time again — that paid family and medical leave is a critical support that families need, it is what Americans want, and it is what they deserve.”