8 in 10 Strongly Opposed to Social Security Cuts Recommended By Deficit Commission Proposal

Lake Research Partners released a new poll Thursday with dire implications for Democrats should Social Security cuts happen on their watch. And once again, the economy and jobs combined whomped the deficit as the primary concern of voters, 42 to 6.

Overall, of the 1,200 likely voters surveyed, 82% of respondents oppose Social Security cuts to reduce the deficit, including 83% of Dems, 78% of Independents, 82% of Republicans, and 74% of Tea Party supporters.

The implications for Democrats are serious.

  • According to national exit poll data, Democrats lost seniors by historic proportions—21 points—in the November mid‐terms. Even in 1994, Democrats only lost seniors by 2 points.
  • The survey reveals Democrats no longer have the advantage they traditionally have enjoyed on Social Security. However, candidates who made Social Security an issue often saved their seats, and voters who say Social Security was a top voting issue voted more for Democratic candidates.
  • As we have seen in previous work, voters see little relationship between the deficit and Social Security.
  • Voters strongly oppose cutting Social Security benefits, even under the rationales of reducing the deficit or making the program more solvent in the long run. They strongly oppose cutting benefits for those earning above $60,000, and they strongly oppose raising the retirement age to 69 years‐old. This includes voters of all ages and partisan groups, including Republicans and Tea Party supporters.
  • There is also strong bipartisan support for lifting the cap to impose Social Security taxes on all wages above $106,800. Support for this is stronger when both employers and employees are taxed.

...Social Security was a particularly important voting issue for independents who voted for a Democrat in this election, voters aged 65 to 74, and older voters who are women, independent, moderate, white and African American.

Democrats cannot afford to lose these demographic groups. That's the simple political calculus. The policy calculus, is that Democrats cannot betray their moral center and be the party responsible for consigning Americans to an old age of poverty and struggle.

Daily Kos / By Joan McCarter | Sourced from

Posted at November 19, 2010, 8:15am

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