More than half of registered voters nationwide prefer President Barack Obama over Mitt Romney to handle issues related to Medicare, according to a new poll from USA Today and Gallup released Monday.
The poll shows that 51 percent of voters across the country prefer Obama to preside over the nation's health care system for senior citizens, while 43 percent prefer Romney. Voters in swing states give the nod to Obama on Medicare by a similar margin, 50 percent to 44 percent. Gallup's swing state sample includes voters in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.
The issue of Medicare was viewed by many as a potentially problematic policy area for the Republican ticket after Romney's selection of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) as his running mate in August. Ryan's much-ballyhooed budget proposal, widely celebrated on the right, included a provision to turn Medicare into a voucher program, a proposal that has proven to be consistently unpopular among voters.
The PollTracker Average shows Obama gaining separation from Romney on the issue of Medicare this month, after the two candidates were running evenly on that for much of August.