Voters largely don’t want Congress to punish companies for speaking out on certain social and political issues, according to a Morning Consult poll commissioned by the tech industry-backed Chamber of Progress and released on Monday.
The survey found that a majority of voters wouldn’t want lawmakers to punish companies for speaking out against discrimination, openly supporting abortion rights or withholding campaign donations from Republicans who voted against certifying the 2020 election results.
House Republicans, led by Speaker Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), have promised to investigate some of the largest U.S. companies over their so-called woke politics, referring to support of the Black Lives Matter movement; environmental, social and corporate governance, or ESG, investing and abortion access, among other hot-button issues.
“While the Republican effort to punish companies that speak up on social issues might be popular with the far right, it’s completely out of touch with what most voters want to see from Congress,” Chamber of Progress CEO Adam Kovacevich told The Hill. “This poll should be a wake-up call for Republicans — no one wants to see them silence the private sector.”
Seventy-one percent of voters oppose Congress punishing companies that “speak out against discrimination,” including two-thirds of GOP respondents, according to the poll.
Republicans were enraged when several major companies, including Delta Air Lines and Coca-Cola, spoke out against the Georgia GOP’s voting law that critics said discriminated against Black voters.
And Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) punished Disney after the company spoke out against his “don’t say gay” bill.
“Companies like Disney, Coke and Delta should be focusing on their customers, not engaging in political fights,” Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), who has also threatened retribution against “woke” companies, tweeted last year.
The survey found that 72 percent of voters don’t want Congress to punish companies that “speak out in support of reproductive rights.” While only a relatively small number of companies spoke out against the Supreme Court’s decision last year that ended federal abortion protections, most large corporations pledged to help their employees access abortion services.
Nearly 6 in 10 respondents oppose punishing corporations for withholding donations to the 147 Republicans who voted against certifying President Biden’s 2020 win.
Dozens of companies froze their PAC donations to those lawmakers, including McCarthy, following the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection, but most unpaused their giving over the last year following GOP outrage.
Tech giants were some of the first corporations to withhold donations. Google and Meta stuck with their pledge throughout the 2022 election cycle. Those companies will be top targets of House GOP investigations into allegations of anti-conservative censorship.
McCarthy has specifically gone after the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the nation’s largest corporate lobbying group, after it endorsed a slate of House Democrats in the 2020 election.
Morning Consult surveyed 2,006 midterm voters from Nov. 17-18. The poll’s margin of error is 2 percentage points.