Swing state senators, it’s time to pay attention. Recent polling from the Progressive Change Committee has shown what most people have suspected: the Republican plan to close the deficit — and extend tax cuts for the wealthy — by cutting social safety net programs like Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security are highly unpopular. For senators who might be likely to potentially waver on cuts, such as Democrats Claire McCaskill, Sherrod Brown, John Tester and Amy Klobuchar, all of whom had said they would consider such cuts to reduce debt, the opinions of their constituents are pretty clear.
Don’t do it.
Via Huffington Post:
McCaskill’s Missouri shows the largest divide in surveys done by the Democratically friendly Public Policy Polling, especially on Medicare. When asked, “In order to reduce the national debt, would you support or oppose cutting spending on Medicare, which is the government health insurance program for the elderly?” just 19 percent of respondents said they would, while an overwhelming 77 percent said they would oppose cuts.
Similarly, 20 percent back cuts in Brown’s Ohio, while 76 percent oppose them. In Tester’s Montana, it’s 24 percent favoring cuts and 71 percent against. Just 26 percent of Minnesotans would want Klobuchar to vote to cut Medicare, while 69 percent say to vote against.
The numbers are almost as sharp on support for cutting Medicaid in all four states: Ohio is 33 percent in favor to 61 percent against; Missouri is 32 percent to 63 percent; Montana is 36 percent to 59 percent; and Minnesota 33 to 62 percent.
The opinions on Social Security are much the same, as Talking Points Memo reports:
Ask the voters and they’ll tell you: Social Security cuts are off the table when it comes to cleaning up the budget mess in Washington.
Fresh polling from Ohio, Missouri, Montana and Minnesota published first by TPM show voters in the states overwhelmingly oppose any cuts to the Social Security entitlement program, even in the name of reducing the national debt. The coalition of progressive groups which sponsored the survey say the polls send a clear message to the Democratic Senate incumbents up for reelection in each state: cut Social Security and you’ll incur the wrath of an angry electorate.
In order to reduce the national debt, would you support or oppose cutting spending on Social Security, which is the retirement program for the elderly?
Ohio: 16% support, 80% oppose
Missouri: 17% support, 76% oppose
Montana: 20% support, 76% oppose
Minnesota: 23% support, 72% oppose
Now comes the real question — do politicians really listen to the will of the voters? And if not, are they prepared for their ire heading into a reelection year?