Nearly half of Americans say that they could feed themselves on the average weekly food stamp payment of $32.
In recent weeks a number of prominent Democratic politicians - including Newark Mayor Corey Booker - have pledged to eat for at least a week spending only what the average recipient of food stamps gets from the federal government. Those participating say it is part of an effort to highlight how meager existing benefits are as Congress considers cutting the amount of money the program receives, though opponents counter that no-one is expected to feed themselves just on $32 a week. $32 a week is, rather, the average payment, with payments for people without any other income being higher.
The latest YouGov research shows that people across all household income groups are more likely to think that they can feed themselves on $32 a week than think they can't. There are differences however between different income levels with 38% of people earning less than $40,000 a year saying they could not feed themselves. This compares to 26% of people earning between $80,000 and $100,000 per day. Interestingly, people earning over $100,000 are the most likely to doubt their ability to feed themselves on $32 a week.
Along partisan lines a clearer split emerges. Both Independents (55%) and Republicans (52%) generally thinking that they could feed themselves for $32, compared to only 39% of Democrats who think the same.
Positive opinions of food stamps - officially the Supplemental Nutritional Assistant Program (SNAP) - are very high among Democrats (72%) and very low among Republicans (24%). Independents are evenly split over their attitudes to the program.
A majority of people in households earning less than $80,000 a year think positively of food stamps, while a majority of people earning over that level have negative impressions of the program.
Complete results are available here.