Georgia voters oppose Romney-Ryan Medicare vouchers

Better Georgia just completed a statewide survey of voters. We’ve learned that President Obama’s support in Georgia remains just about the same as it did in 2008. The President’s support in Georgia has not gone over a cliff as conservative pundits would have you believe.

In the poll, we learned that Republican Mitt Romney holds a narrow edge over President Obama, 49 percent to 46 percent among likely voters. Among registered voters, the race is tied at 47 percent for each candidate.

(Download full survey results PDF)

In 2008, Republican candidate Sen. John McCain won Georgia 52.2 percent to Obama’s 47 percent, a 204,636 vote difference.

In an effort to keep the campaign focused on the economy, Gov. Romney selected Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate on the Republican ticket. The Romney-Ryan Medicare plan replaces the current system with a voucher system that seniors can use to buy private health insurance. Although this proposal does produce small savings for the Federal government when it takes effect, it does so by massively increasing the out-of-pocket costs to American seniors, including 1,391,252 Georgians [1].

The Romney-Ryan ticket will find little support for its Medicare plan in Georgia.

We asked the following question:

Congress has been debating the future of the Medicare program. Some members of Congress say that the federal government can’t afford to keep Medicare the same in coming years, and want to change the program so it gives seniors vouchers to pay for part of the cost of private insurance. Others say that Congress should prioritize saving Medicare in its current form by working to reduce the cost of healthcare overall and if necessary raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans. What do you think?

A strong majority, 57 percent of likely voters, support keeping the current Medicare program in place even if it means raising taxes. Only 31 percent favor a voucher system. Georgia Republicans are split over the Romney-Ryan Medicare plan with 52 percent supporting the voucher system and 31 percent preferring to keep the program solvent by raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans.

Our polling shows the Romney-Ryan ticket to be out of touch with most Georgia voters. There is no wonder Mitt Romney would like to shift the conversation away from his voucher plan. Georgia voters, like most Americans, believe we should fight to keep Medicare.

Romney-Ryan support raising taxes on the wealthiest taxpayers, shifting the burden to the middle class.

Overall, Georgia voters are not thrilled with current elected officials in Georgia or Washington.

Most elected officials, regardless of party identification score below 50 percent support. Only Paul Ryan, who is still being introduced to Georgia voters, breaks through to 51 percent support among likely voters.

Georgians are sour on the direction of both the country and the state. Self-identified independent voters are especially skeptical of our national and state progress. Only 24 percent of independents believe Georgia is headed in the right direction while 66 percent say things have gotten off on the wrong track.  Their views on the country mirror these numbers with only 21 percent saying the country is headed in the right direction and 77 percent believing things have gotten off on the wrong track.

The Better Georgia survey of 1,654 registered Georgia voters was conducted August 15-18, 2012, by 20/20 Insight, LLC and has a 2.5 percent margin of error for registered voters and a 2.9 percent margin of error for likely voters.

[1] Center on Budget and Policy Priorities 3/20/12; Census, accessed on 3/20/12; CBPP 12/21/11; Kaiser Family Foundation, accessed on 3/21/12; The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, 3/20/12