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Opposition to Ryan Budget Plan Grows

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

A plurality of voters still have no opinion about Republican Congressman Paul Ryan’s long-term budget-cutting plan, but opposition has increased over the past several weeks. By a near two-to-one margin, they don’t like his proposal for tackling spiraling Medicare costs.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 26% of Likely U.S. Voters continue to favor the budget proposal by Ryan that claims to cut federal spending by $4 trillion over the next decade. But that’s unchanged from a month ago.

Now, however, 34% oppose Ryan’s proposal, up from 27% in the previous survey. A sizable 40% still don’t know enough about the plan to have any opinion of it. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

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 which includes allowing individuals to purchase private health insurance as an alternative and raising the eligibility age from 65 to 67. Earlier polling showed that voters overwhelmingly believe any proposed changes in Medicare should require voter approval before they can be implemented.

Views of Ryan are little changed from a month ago. Thirty-three percent (33%) now regard the Wisconsin congressman favorably, including 19% with a Very Favorable opinion. He’s viewed unfavorably by 29%, with Very Unfavorables of 18%. A plurality, 41%, have no opinion of Ryan.

The continuing high level of uncertainty about both the man and his plan highlights how something can be a front-burner issue in Washington, D.C., and scarcely register on the radar screens of many Americans.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on April 29-30, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.


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