Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Most voters know they want to cut government spending in a serious way, but despite the ongoing national budget-cutting debate, they don’t seem to recognize what that’s going to take.
The majority of U.S. federal spending is allotted to national defense, Social Security and Medicare. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that just 47% of Likely U.S. Voters correctly recognize that it is necessary to make major changes in those areas to make truly significant long-term cuts in government spending. Thirty-six percent (36%) don’t believe big changes in these three areas are needed, while another 17% aren’t sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
This marks virtually no change from early April but shows increased voter awareness from February of last year.
The most high-profile plan for changing Medicare that’s currently on the table is the one proposed by Republican Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. That plan, which includes allowing individuals to purchase private health insurance as an alternative and raising the eligibility age from 65 to 67, has been denounced by most Democrats and even has drawn the criticism of Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich.
But despite the attention politicians and pundits are giving Ryan’s plan, public views of it are virtually unchanged from late last month. Twenty-six percent (26%) of voters continue to favor Ryan’s budget proposal, while 34% are opposed to it. The plurality (40%) is not sure what they think of the plan.
The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on May 21-22, 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.Rasmussen subscribers can log in to read the rest of this article.
ORBecome a member and get full access to all articles and polls starting at $3.95/month.
Rasmussen Reports is a media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion information.
We conduct public opinion polls on a variety of topics to inform our audience on events in the news and other topics of interest. To ensure editorial control and independence, we pay for the polls ourselves and generate revenue through the sale of subscriptions, sponsorships, and advertising. Nightly polling on politics, business and lifestyle topics provides the content to update the Rasmussen Reports web site many times each day. If it's in the news, it's in our polls. Additionally, the data drives a daily update newsletter and various media outlets across the country.
Some information, including the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll and commentaries are available for free to the general public. Subscriptions are available for $3.95 a month or 34.95 a year that provide subscribers with exclusive access to more than 20 stories per week on upcoming elections, consumer confidence, and issues that affect us all. For those who are really into the numbers, Platinum Members can review demographic crosstabs and a full history of our data.
To learn more about our methodology, click here.