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Rasmussen: Plurality of Likely Voters Have No Opinion of Ryan Plan

9:58 AM, May 4, 2011 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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Rasmussen finds that 40 percent of likely voters haven't heard enough about Ryan's plan to have an opinion about it, while 26 percent support it and 34 percent oppose it. What does this tell us? The fight over the budget remains very much unsettled.

That's pretty much what Gallup found last week as well. The pollster reported that 43 percent of Americans support Ryan’s budget, while 44 percent support Obama’s proposal. “If these numbers hold, this is good news for the Republicans,” wrote the New York Times’s liberal polling analyst Nate Silver. “But Republicans ought to be careful about declaring ‘Mission Accomplished’. What polls like Gallup’s seem to reflect is the overall partisan split in the country.”

As for Ryan's proposed Medicare reform, Rasmussen asks: "Do you favor or oppose the plan for changing Medicare that is included in the Ryan budget proposal?"

 The results: "Just 21% of all voters favor the plan for changing Medicare that is included in the Ryan budget proposal. Thirty-nine percent (39%) oppose that plan. But again 40% are not sure about it. The question did not offer any specifics about Ryan's proposal...."

This marks at least the third reputable pollster who has polled Ryan's plan without informing voters that the budget plan keeps Medicare as it is for those on it or 10 years from retiring. 

A New York TImes/CBS poll found that Americans support Ryan's plan 47% to 41%. It did not specify that the reform only affects those 54 and younger. A Washington Post poll found that 65% of Americans oppose changing Medicare "so that people over 65 would receive a check or voucher from the government each year for a fixed amount they can use to shop for their own private health insurance policy [emphasis added]." In other words, the Post poll misrepresented Ryan's plan.

It would be interesting to see how Ryan's plan polls when that very basic fact, that Medicare only changes for those 54 and younger, is included.It would be even more interesting, in my opinion, to see how Obama's plan to rein in Medicare--the Independent Payment Advisory Board--polls. The debate is about how, not whether, Medicare should be reformed, after all.

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