Obama’s Mediscare Attacks Failing

Public rejects Obama attacks on Ryan plan, new poll shows

AP Images
• August 23, 2012 12:34 pm


Barack Obama’s talking point that Paul Ryan will "end Medicare as we know it" is failing, according to a new poll.

The Winston Group found that a majority of registered voters did not buy the Obama campaign’s attack that Republican presidential contenders Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan would turn Medicare into a "voucher" system.

Forty-nine percent of registered voters supported Ryan’s position that Medicare must be reformed for those under the age of 55 if it is to survive, while 44 percent agreed that "the Romney-Ryan plan will end Medicare as we know it and turn Medicare into a voucher system."

Seniors favored Ryan by an even larger margin, 50-42.

"The survey shows [Obama’s] response has not been effective with voters nor has his argument been able to regain the traditional Democratic advantage on this issue," according to a report issued by the Winston Group along with the poll.

The poll borrowed language from the Obama and Romney campaign’s stated positions on Medicare and asked registered voters which candidate they were more likely to support. Voters are increasingly open to Republican healthcare proposals.

"Republican solutions are either on par with those of the President and his party or in some cases viewed more favorably particularly when put in an economic context," the report read.

Obama’s Medicare track record has become a negative for the campaign. The poll found that 54 percent of respondents, including 61 percent of independents, said that Obama’s actions have not strengthened Medicare.

The public’s support for Democratic healthcare policies has vanished since the passing of Obamacare in 2010. Republicans trail Democrats by 1 point—within the poll’s margin of error—according to the August poll, erasing the 29-point lead Democrats enjoyed on the issue in March 2009.

Independents have increasingly parted with Democrats on issues of healthcare and the economy after a weak economic recovery and Obama’s unpopular medical overhaul. Only 37 percent of nonaffiliated respondents supported the law, compared to 43 percent of overall respondents, while 56 percent opposed it.

The addition of Ryan to the ticket further closed the gap on healthcare. Democrats enjoy a 6-point advantage over Republicans on the question of Medicare—a historic low, according to the report—but respondents increasingly view Ryan’s approach to addressing the prospect of future bankruptcy positively.