While a majority of 72% of American adults who have heard of the Medicare voucher plan oppose it, by 49% to 34%, a shocking 17% think it is President Obama's plan. Only 23% correctly realize the Medicare voucher plan is being proposed by Paul Ryan, rather than President Obama. So it appears that Romney is being successful in positioning himself, and Ryan, as defenders of Medicare against the onslaught of President Obama and Democrats.
This may be one reason we have not seen any evidence of consequences in the head to head polls for for what would seem to be a highly negative position for the GOP. These results are from a CNN-Pew Poll just released this Tuesday afternoon.
I'm still almost speechless with dismay. The only caveat is that poll was taken about a week after the Paul Ryan VP announcement, before the majority of the debate over the Medicare voucher plan. But, this shows us that our work is cut out for us, despite what should be overwhelming advantages. Another flash poll last night, showed Todd Akin leading Senator Claire McCaskill by 1%, even after is repugnant statements about "legitimate rape."
Of those who have heard of the idea, 49% oppose such a change, while 34% favor the entitlement reform. Pew states that the margin is "virtually unchanged from public reactions a little over a year ago," when House Republicans voted on a similar measure as part of the so-called Ryan budget plan. The bill, however, did not pass the Democratic-controlled Senate.
The survey also finds that while Americans place the need to reduce the deficit as a top priority, most would not favor entitlement cuts as a way of balancing the budget. Asked which was more important, 51% of respondents said maintaining current Social Security and Medicare benefits, while 33% said taking steps to reduce the deficit. Eleven percent said the two were equally important.
The poll also indicates that Romney's selection of Ryan has low support among all Americans, as 28% said he was either an excellent or good choice, while 46% said he was a fair or poor choice. Among Republicans, 60% said he was either an excellent or good choice, while 20% said he was a fair or poor pick.
It's important to note that most Americans do not associate Ryan with Medicare reform, according to the survey. Of those who have heard of the proposal, 23% linked the idea to Ryan, while 17% said it was President Barack Obama's idea. Forty-four percent said they were unaware of who proposed it.
Yesterday, MSNBC ran the entire stump speech by Romney and Ryan, where they claimed that President Obama had "ripped out" $716 billion dollars from Medicare, but Mitt Romney exclaimed he would put it back, and the bused in crowds cheered wildly.
Theses are the kinds of Rovian reversals that drive me bonko with politics. After Mitt Romney's gaffe filled European trip, choice of Ryan, Medicare extremism, and opposition to choice even in cases of rape and incest, I expected we'd be up by 10% or more in the polls. But, a new Democratic poll now shows us down 4% in Michigan, and a polls yesterday put Romney up 1% in Wisconsin.
Gak! I know all the caveats about summer polls, and time delays, but this kind of thing still makes me ill, stresses me out, and discourages me about the level of attentiveness and average competence of my fellow Americans. I apologize for this moment of discouragement. Give me a few hours, and I'll be mad as heck and ready to fight again.