"This polling is remarkable," PCCC co-founder Stephanie Taylor said. "If Democrats compromise on tax cuts for the wealthy, or entertain for one minute the idea of cutting Social Security, it would be both a policy disaster and a monumental political blunder -- and they'd risk losing the Senate and maybe even the White House in 2012."
The partisan breakdown of the results shows that Republicans, Democrats and independents agree that cutting Social Security is the least acceptable option of the three presented in the poll. It came in third among all respondents who made a choice. But the plurality of independents and Republicans said they didn't know which option is best -- 36% of Republicans said they were "not sure" which to choose among the three and 35% of independents said the same thing. Among the total sample, 23% said they were unsure.
On the campaign trail, Republicans rarely put the deficit solution in such stark terms. Most candidates referred to tax cuts and vague promises to slash government largess as the way to close the deficit. The polling suggests many Republicans and Independents -- groups which overwhelmingly voted in favor of the House's new Republican majority -- still lean toward other solutions than those presented in the PCCC poll.
Democrats, on the other hand, have their mind made up. Sixty-six percent said they'd prefer to see taxes on the wealthy go up to shrink the deficit, 28% said they'd prefer the military cuts and just 3% said cut Social Security. Only 3% said they were unsure.
"Even among a skewed 2010 electorate with low Democratic turnout and high Republican turnout, there is a huge appetite for raising taxes on the wealthy and even taking on the military-industrial complex," Taylor said.
PPP surveyed 548 voters Nov. 2 and 3. The margin of error for the poll is 4.2%.