Republican presidential contender Rick Perry’s criticism of Social Security is taking its toll on his polling numbers, a new survey by Public Policy Polling reveals.
Only 20 percent of voters agree with Perry that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme, while 70 percent disagree. And just 10 percent of respondents say they favor ending Social Security, compared with 82 percent who oppose ending it.
President Barack Obama tops Perry in a head-to-head matchup, 52 percent to 41 percent. That margin is nearly twice as large as it was in August, when Obama beat Perry 49 percent to 43 percent.
Mitt Romney, on the other hand, trails Obama by a margin of just 4 percentage points, 49 percent to 45 percent.
“In just three weeks Barack Obama has nearly doubled his lead over Rick Perry. That would seem to be an indication that Perry’s comments about Social Security are giving him trouble with swing voters,” said Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling.
Among respondents older than 65 — the group presumably most concerned about Social Security — Perry has a favorable rating of just 34 percent, while Romney’s rating is 43 percent.
And while Romney beats Obama among seniors, 49 percent to 45 percent, Perry trails the president in that age group by a margin of 50 percent to 45 percent.
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