Obama and Dems winning the battle over Medicare: New Post polling out this morning demonstrates this in the clearest terms yet. The poll finds that Obama holds a double digit lead over Republicans on who is most trusted to do a better job “protecting the Medicare system,” 49-35. That’s almost as big an advantage that Bill Clinton held on the issue amid the standoff with Republicans in 1995, which Clinton decisively won.And more...
That’s not all. The poll also finds that less than a third of Americans, 32 percent, support the GOP Medicare plan, even though the question merely says it would “change” Medicare, not end it, and specifies that the plan would not change the status of those over 55, a key GOP defense of the proposal. Forty-nine percent oppose it.
Still more: A plurality, 49 percent, believe the GOP plan will force future generations of Medicare recipients to pay more for health insurance, while barely more than a fourth, 27 percent, thinks things would stay the same. Though Dems have been widely accused of demagoguing the GOP Medicare plan, it just may be that the public has rejected it on the merits.
The larger political context here is important. As I wrote the other day, the claim that Dems have previously cut Medicare or would destroy it by doing nothing is part of a broader effort to muddy the waters by attacking Dems from the left on the popular entitlement program, and it’s an implicit acknowledgment that Dems have won the argument over the issue.See also Tuesday's Pew: The more you know the Ryan Medicare plan, the more you oppose it. Sargent's observations, along with all the other polling, show that Ryan's Curse is worse than the GOP imagined. No poll shows them winning this argument.
And we've yet to saddle the Republican nominee with it.