Voters Care About Jobs, Not the Deficit


It is time for QE3.

Only 32% of Voters Support GOP Plan to End Medicare

Ezra Klein:

[T]he latest Washington Post/ABC News poll included a question about the Ryan budget. The phrasing, I think, was as vague and favorable as Republicans could hope for: “ Republicans in the House of Representatives approved a budget plan that would change Medicare, the government health insurance program for the elderly. These changes would affect Americans currently under age 55. From what you’ve heard about it, do you support or oppose this new plan for Medicare?” Nevertheless, 49 percent opposed it and only 32 percent supported it.

Of course, it’s not true at all that people over 55 wouldn’t pay more under RyanCare.

Polling Shows Dent’s Medicare-Ending Budget Vote is a Political Disaster

A few data points to supplement my case that Charlie Dent’s bait and switch on Medicare is a big problem for the Congressman’s reelection prospects next year.

According to CNN, in just the past few weeks, Barack Obama’s approval rating among senior citizens increased by 9 points. Seniors are starting to realize they got played for suckers in 2010.

A Herndon Alliance poll found that voters oppose a neutral description of RyanCare by a 16 point margin, and the plan becomes much more unpopular when respondents hear about the drawbacks:

The results? Just 38% support the plan and 54% oppose it. According to the groups, that opposition shoots up after voters are given some political messaging “about the substance of Republicans’ proposed changes to Medicare.”

Going deeper, the numbers show President Obama with the upper hand in more than just the Medicare fight. On healthcare, the poll shows voters trust Obama over the congressional GOP by a margin of 48-41. They trust Obama more on Medicare by a margin of 47-39.

But the most surprising numbers — and possibly the best one for Obama — are the results showing that political messaging against the Ryan budget may actually increase the numbers who support the Obama’s health care law. The legislation is enemy number one for Republicans heading into 2012, who hope to use continuing wariness about the bill to attack the president and Democrats this fall.

Another CNN poll released this afternoon finds similar numbers, that are actually way worse when you look at the demographic breakdown. Greg Sargent explains:

A new national poll indicates that a majority of Americans don’t like what they’ve heard so far about congressional Republicans’ plans to change Medicare.

According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey, a majority also don’t think the GOP has cooperated enough with President Barack Obama and, for the first time since they won back control of the House last November, the number of Americans who say that Republican control of the chamber is good for the country has dropped below the 50 percent mark.

The poll indicates that 58 percent of the public opposes the Republican plan on Medicare, with 35 percent saying they support the proposal…

“Half of those we questioned say that the country would be worse off under the GOP Medicare proposals and 56 percent think that GOP plan would be bad for the elderly,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “Opposition is highest among senior citizens, at 74 percent, suggesting that seniors are most worried about changes to Medicare even if those changes are presented as ones that would not affect existing Medicare recipients.”

Of course, RyanCare absolutely impacts current beneficiaries, as Ryan allows private insurers to pick the meat off the bones of traditional Medicare, leaving only the unhealthiest in the risk pool, where costs will spiral. Seniors already don’t believe they won’t be impacted, and that number’s only going to get worse as Democratic challengers relentlessly hammer this point in 2012.

Worst of all, Republicans can’t even count on their own voters to defend RyanCare. The plan is even unpopular with Republicans and self-identified conservatives:

Among conservatives, 54% are opposed. Among current seniors — who would not be affected by the changes in the Ryan Medicare plan — a full 74% are opposed, even after they’re told that Ryan’s plan affects Americans 55 years of age and younger.

Even Republicans break against Ryan’s plan, though only slightly. Fifty percent oppose the plan, while 48% support it.

With numbers like this, it’s no wonder Democrats have pulled ahead of Republicans on the generic ballot, and people like Charlie Cook are saying the House is in play. They’re only going to get worse from here.

Tea Time’s Over


About half of Americans, 47%, now have an unfavorable image of the Tea Party movement, the highest since it emerged on the national scene

Economic conservatism has never been popular in the United States, and the right wing electoral coalition has always been most successful using social issues as a Trojan Horse for the really nasty Victorian economic agenda. Now that the Paul Ryan budget has clarified what these people are actually for, it’s no surprise the public is turning on them.

PPP: PA Voters Regret Electing Corbett

Tom Jensen:

To the list of states already regretting their new Republican Governor you can add Pennsylvania: Tom Corbett has only a 34% approval rating to 44% of voters disapproving of him and voters say that if they could do it all over again now they’d vote for Democrat Dan Onorato instead, by a 49-44 margin over Corbett.

Pennsylvania joins Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, Florida, and Georgia as states where PPP has recently found that if voters had a second chance they would now vote against their new GOP chief executive. Part of that is a reminder of just how much of the Republican gains last year were driven by low Democratic turnout- the party’s voters were fat and happy after big wins in 2006 and 2008 and just didn’t have the sense of urgency they would have needed to keep that momentum going last year. But the other thing it’s reflective of is that there has been somewhat of a shift in the political landscape over the last five months, particularly with independent voters.

Exit polls last year showed Corbett defeating Onorato by 18 points with independent voters. Now Corbett has only a 31% approval rating with them to 38% who disapprove and those folks say they’d vote for Onorato by a 45-41 margin in a redo. In addition to independents turning against all of these newly elected Republican Governors, we also found in polling earlier this week that they’ve turned against the new Republican Congress.

Casey – Dent Numbers

PPP found Bob Casey dominating all Republican pretenders to his Senate seat. Rick “Man on Dog” Santorum gets closest at 48-41. Casey beats Dent by 20 points, 51 – 31. A vast majority of respondents don’t know who Dent is, but even among the people who do know him, he’s not off to a great start. Some interesting findings:

Casey gets 21% of the conservative vote, and 65% of the moderate vote:

liberal: 84-5

moderate: 65-23

conservative: 21-52

Men, who trend much more Republican than women, have stronger opinions about him than women do:

women: 4-17-79 Not Sure

men: 9-19-72 Not Sure

Other fun facts: 10% of self-identified Republicans view Dent unfavorably. Out of the 35% of African-Americans who know who he is, 2% approve.

Pennsylvanians Want PA Out of the Booze Biz


16. To help balance the state budget do you support or oppose – selling off the state liquor stores?

Total66% Support
26% Oppose
8% Don’t Know

Republican68 Support
26 Oppose
6 Don’t Know

Democrat63 Support
31 Opposte
6 Don’t Know

Independent70 Support
23 Oppose
7 Don’t Know

Men68 Support
27 Oppose
5 Don’t Know

Women64 Support
26 Oppose
10 Don’t Know

Union Households62 Support
32 Oppose
6 Don’t Know

Right on. The Southeast has the highest support of any region, with 77% in favor. The good news here is that a supermajority agrees the state shouldn’t be in the business of selling alcohol. That’s huge. That a supermajority of Republican voters support a move away from Prohibition suggests there will not be significant opposition from social conservatives.

The bad news is that the only reform plan that appears to be under consideration is Mike Turzai’s plan for private cartels. If any of this support hinges on the belief that more liberal regulation of alcohol sales or expanded benefits for consumers are on the way, the supporters are in for a big disappointment.

Turzai wants to turn liquor and wine sales into a private monopoly operating under a similar licensing system as the beer distributors. That’s not going to lead to more choices, it’s not going to lead to competition between retailers, and it’s not going to be any more convenient for consumers. Yes, the cap will be a little higher, but why have a cap on licenses in the first place? Why not let the market sort it out. A city can only support so many liquor stores. If too many open, the worst ones will go out of business.

I say, why go to the trouble of designing a cartel? Why not let the market sort it out? Why not just let all grocery stores sell liquor, wine and beer?