Poll: Voters want Social Security expanded, not cut

A new Public Policy Polling/MoveOn.org poll finds voters overwhelmingly disapprove of cutting Social Security

By Elias Isquith
November 20, 2013 7:10PM (UTC)
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A new poll from the Democratic-aligned Public Policy Polling (PPP) and MoveOn.org has found that by overwhelming margins, voters want Social Security expanded — not cut.

The PPP poll asked voters in five House districts and five states whether they wanted Social Security expanded or cut. The districts were in Arizona, California, Massachusetts and New York, while the states were Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina and Washington.

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On the question of whether to cut Social Security, respondents answered in the negative by more than 70 percent in nine out of 10 instances (the lone outlier still opposed cuts by 66 percent). When it came to expanding Social Security, the responses were similarly one-sided: an average of 65 percent supported the proposition.

Notably, almost 70 percent of respondents said they'd be less likely to support a candidate who backed Social Security cuts.

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Majorities of voters in 7 of the 10 districts and states were not aware that President Barack Obama and members of the Republican Party have proposed cuts to Social Security benefits.

"These results indicate that if Democrats align themselves with expanding Social Security benefits in this round of negotiations, they can be seen at the forefront of an issue that has significant public support," wrote PPP's Jim Williams.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) recently joined the push to increase Social Security benefits, saying the program can be kept solvent for many years with "some modest adjustments."

"The suggestion that we have become a country where those living in poverty fight each other for a handful of crumbs tossed off the tables of the very wealthy is fundamentally wrong," Warren said in a Senate floor speech on Monday. "This is about our values, and our values tell us that we don’t build a future by first deciding who among our most vulnerable will be left to starve."


Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a former Salon staff writer.

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