A majority of U.S. President Joe Biden’s core voter base opposes the administration’s proposed ban on menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars, reports National Review, citing a poll by Cornell Belcher commissioned by Altria.
Biden’s core voter base is defined as minority voters or nonconservative white voters under the age of 45. Of this group, 54 percent oppose the proposed ban, with each battleground state showing a majority of opposition as well.
“Candidates risk alienating base supporters in battleground states by taking up a cause that most voters oppose and don’t believe to be important,” according to the poll.
Based on the poll, tobacco product bans are at the bottom of voters’ priority list when it comes to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration—opioid abuse, prescription medication and food safety are the top concerns.
“Biden’s core voters are simply not comfortable with the idea of prohibition as a government approach to tobacco,” Belcher’s polling memo says. The majority of voters (74 percent) prefer a harm reduction approach.
“With so many issues more pressing on voters’ minds—issues that voters actually agree with—these bans represent a very avoidable self-inflicted wound that could alienate base supporters in a battleground state,” the memo said. “Adult use of tobacco is far from a top-tier concern, and voters recognize there are more important matters for the president, Congress and the FDA to address. Candidates should not be taking up a cause that most voters oppose, that voters don’t believe to be important and that can get in the way of a campaign’s ability to mobilize supporters.”
The poll was conducted from Sept. 17 to Oct. 10 among 3,021 likely voters in Biden’s “core coalition.” Roughly 600 voters per battleground state were included in the poll.