Poll: Voters Ready To Penalize Democrats Who Mess With Medicare


Voters in key Senate swing states don’t want cuts to Medicare and Medicaid benefits — and they’re prepared to exact revenge on politicians who vote in favor of them.

That’s according to new Public Policy Polling (D) numbers from Ohio, Missouri, Montana and Minnesota, where Democratic Senators face what could be tough reelection fights. The polling, published first by TPM, was sponsored by a coalition of progressive groups.Numbers from the polls published Monday found voters in the states overwhelmingly opposed to cutting Social Security in the name of balancing the federal budget. Results from the polls are being rolled out all week here.

Tuesday’s polling shows voters ready to penalize politicians who vote to cut benefits from the nation’s other massive entitlement programs.

The polls were sponsored by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Democracy For America, MoveOn.org and CREDO Action. The groups hope to see entitlements protected as budget politics continue to consume Washington. The sponsors say the swing state results show Democrats who don’t toe the progressive line will be on the wrong side of voters.

Each poll surveyed more between around 500 to 700 people and has a margin of error around 4%. Every Senator mentioned is a Democrat up for reelection in 2012. The results:

If Senator [NAME] voted to cut Medicare and Medicaid benefits, would that make you more or less likely to vote for him, or would it make no difference to you?

Ohio (Sen. Sherrod Brown): 15% more likely, 65% less likely, 20% no difference

Missouri (Sen. Claire McCaskill): 10% more likely, 64% less likely, 25% no difference

Montana (Sen. Jon Tester): 16% more likely, 60% less likely, 24% no difference

Minnesota (Sen. Amy Klobuchar): 17% more likely, 57% less likely, 26% no difference

The progressive groups behind the polls say the political consequences for Democrats who cut entitlement benefits couldn’t be clearer.

“Any politicians who ultimately support cutting Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security benefits are tying a big, juicy steak around their necks and throwing themselves into the lion’s den,” said Becky Bond, political director of CREDO Action.