Nearly half of likely voters oppose the Medicare overhaul plan proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan, while only about one-third support it — but Republicans overwhelmingly back the controversial plan, according to a new IBOPE Zogby/Newsmax poll.
In the survey of more than 2,000 likely voters, 20 percent say they strongly support the plan, which would change Medicare into a voucher system in 10 years, and 16 percent somewhat support it, while 39 percent strongly oppose the plan and 10 percent somewhat oppose it. The remaining 15 percent are not sure.
“First of all, remember Paul Ryan is a congressman – not a good starting point with voters just hating Congress,” pollster John Zogby tells Newsmax, explaining the opposition to the Medicare reform.
“Secondly, he wades in the vast unknown by tampering with an entitlement and telling voters ‘trust me.’ Voters don’t trust Congress, Republicans, or the future. Ironically, Republicans have been particularly adept at going before voters with effective bumper sticker slogans. Remember ‘death panels’? Where is the bumper sticker on this package?”
Among Republicans, 36 percent strongly support the plan and 27 percent say they somewhat support it, compared to just 7 percent who strongly oppose and 9 percent who somewhat oppose the overhaul.
More independents oppose the plan than support it — 32 percent strongly oppose and 15 percent somewhat oppose the proposal, compared to 17 percent who strongly support and 22 percent who somewhat support it.
Not surprisingly, a resounding 72 percent of Democrats strongly oppose and 6 percent somewhat oppose Rep. Ryan’s plan, while just 12 percent strongly or somewhat support it.
Interestingly, the plan finds its greatest opposition among respondents 65 years of age and older, even though the plan would not affect Americans currently age 55 or older — 45 percent of the 65-plus group strongly oppose the plan and 7 percent somewhat oppose it, while 24 percent strongly support and 18 percent somewhat support it.
About 35 percent of respondents age 18 to 29 strongly oppose Ryan’s plan, as do those age 30 to 49, while 19 percent of the younger group and 7 percent of the 30 to 49 group somewhat oppose it.
Along the lines of ideology, the plan is supported by 9 percent of liberals, 17 percent of moderates, and 71 percent of conservatives.
Significantly more men than women support the proposal — 45 percent of males strongly or somewhat support it, compared to 29 percent of women.
Among voters who believe the country is headed in the wrong direction, 56 percent support the Medicare reform plan and 30 percent oppose it. But among those who say the country is headed in the right direction, just over 2 percent support it and 87 percent oppose it.
Nearly 70 percent of African-Americans and 50 percent of Hispanics strongly oppose the plan. Among income groups, the strongest support comes from those earning $75,000 to $100,000 a year — 24 percent strongly support and 13 percent somewhat support — while 62 percent of respondents earning $25,000 to $35,000 annually strongly or somewhat oppose the plan.
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