A USA Today/Gallup poll shows Americans evenly divided in their opinions over what they think is the better deficit-reduction proposal — Paul Ryan’s 2012 budget or President Obama’s “plan.” However, a closer look reveals a rather promising outlook for Republicans at this point in the debate.
|GOP/Ryan plan||Democratic/Obama plan||No opinion|
|Adults||43 %||44 %||14 %|
|Ages 18-29||30 %||53 %||16 %|
|Ages 30-49||45 %||39 %||16 %|
|Ages 50-64||47 %||41 %||12 %|
|Age 65 +||48 %||42 %||10 %|
I’m hardly surprised but nonetheless ashamed that my age group is the only one that prefers the Obama “plan” to the Ryan plan (especially as we clearly have the most to lose from any half-hearted attempt to address our long-term fiscal problems). But the results in those older age brackets are pretty stunning — I actually had to double check to make sure they were correct. Almost 50 percent of seniors prefer the Ryan plan, as do a plurality of respondents between ages 30 and 64. And it goes without saying who is more likely to vote on Election Day. Plus, the poll was conducted between April 20–23, following weeks of Democratic rants about the GOP wanting to “end Medicare.”
Independents were split down the middle, with 41 percent preferring Ryan’s plan, 42 percent favoring the Obama “plan,” and 17 percent having no opinion.
The polls also found that a plurality of respondents think Republicans “would do a better job of dealing with . . . the federal budget”:
|Republicans in Congress||Democrats in Congress||No difference/No opinion|
|National adults||48 %||36 %||15 %|
|Republicans||86 %||5 %||9 %|
|Independents||47 %||30 %||23 %|
|Democrats||14 %||73 %||13 %|
Looks like Democrats don’t even trust themselves all that much, either.
It’s just one poll, but for what it’s worth, it’s good news for Republicans, and further evidence that Americans are beginning to come to terms with the reality of our fiscal problems, a reality that only one party has made a serious effort to confront. Paul Ryan has done a superb job playing the ’Paul Revere of Fiscal Problems,’ and it seems that the American public is listening.
Full results here.