From Public Policy Polling:
A new Public Policy Polling survey covering 5 key Senate battlegrounds finds that voters are strongly opposed to a number of changes that Republicans might pursue to Social Security if they get total control of the government after this fall. 69% of voters say they’re concerned about the changes Republicans might make to Social Security, and by a 33 point margin they say they’re less likely to vote GOP this fall if they’re informed about what changes Republican control could bring to the program. In this closely contested election Democrats should be talking more about Social Security, which could be a winning issue for them in these pivotal states.
Key findings of the survey which included voters in Florida, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin include:
- Only 20% of voters would support privatizing Social Security by investing benefits in the stock market, to 68% who are opposed to that. There’s bipartisan agreement with Democrats (13/83), independents (24/64), and Republicans (27/53) all strongly opposed to privatization. By a 48 point margin voters say they’d be less likely to vote for a candidate who supported that - 63% would be less likely to, compared to only 15% who would be more likely to.
- Only 5% of voters support making any cuts to Social Security benefits, to 88% who are opposed to them. You’d be hard pressed to find any issue that Americans are in such strong agreement about. There’s more than 80% opposition from independents (5/91), Democrats (6/90), and Republicans (4/84) alike. 80% of voters say they’d be less likely to support someone who would cut Social Security benefits, to only 5% who’d be more likely to vote for someone wanting to do that.
- Only 28% of voters support raising the retirement age, to 62% who are opposed to doing that. Once again there’s bipartisan opposition with Democrats (18/74), Republicans (34/54), and independents (40/47) all firmly opposed to raising the retirement age. By a 44 point spread voters are less likely to support a candidate who would raise it - 58% say they’d be less inclined to vote for someone who wanted to do that, to only 14% who would be more likely to vote for them.
- Only 14% of voters support changing the formula that increases benefits for inflation, to 62% who would oppose doing that. Democrats (11/69), independents (14/69), and Republicans (19/52) all stand together in opposing such changes.
- When informed about the possibility that Republicans might pursue some of these policy changes if they end up with control of the White House, Senate, and House after the election 53% of voters say that makes them less likely to vote for the GOP in November, to only 20% who say it makes them more likely to support the party’s candidates. Particularly notable is that among pivotal independent voters, 50% say possible Republican changes to Social Security would make them less likely to vote for the party to just 22% who would be more likely to do so.