Tuesday :: Jan 11, 2005

55% Oppose Social Security Privatization, According To Gallup - Issue Lethal For GOP With Older Voters


by Steve

If you want to see why Bush’s push to privatize Social Security scares those in his own party and threatens to unravel whatever realignment Rove thinks he achieved in the 2004 race, take a look at the most recent Gallup Poll done over the weekend for USA Today and CNN. Even though Bush (as Muckdog always reminds us) carried the majority of the voters between 50 and 64 in 2004, the quickest way for Bush to undo that and put a poison pill on the GOP is to push for privatization. Worse yet for the GOP, even after Bush has talked about privatization for several weeks now and claimed he has a mandate now for this because he talked about it during the election, 55% oppose privatization.

In the debate over adding individual investment accounts to Social Security, the president gets the strongest support from the youngest voters. But they make up the age group that is least likely to vote and was least likely to support him in November.

He'll face the most opposition from older voters. They are the most likely to vote and were the most likely to vote for him in 2004.

A USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll taken Friday through Sunday found that most young voters support private accounts even if that means cuts to guaranteed benefits. By 55%-42%, those under 30 call it a "good idea."

But the older the voter, the stronger the opposition. By 63%-33%, those over 50 call it a "bad idea."

That's one reason some Republicans, including Virginia Rep. Tom Davis, have warned the debate could cost GOP candidates. It could erode the significant gains Republicans scored among older voters last year.

"These older voters who voted 'values' in 2004 hold the potential for a revolt in 2006," Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg says.

And why is talk about how the young support privatization relatively moot when it comes to big picture politics? Because even though that same group may support privatization, they also voted for Kerry in 2004 and not Bush. Also note that according to the Gallup Poll, which we have confirmed once again has resumed its over sampling of Republicans for its polls, the entire sample was against privatization 55%-40%, meaning that if the young voters were in favor by a 55%-42% margin, opposition to privatization went up in the older age groups to get an aggregate sample that was 55%-40% against privatization.

Furthermore, it is the older age groups that are more dependable when it comes to turnout in elections, not the young. Any Rove strategy to build a new coalition on younger voters while going against the wishes of seniors or baby boomers will be lethal for the GOP in the next several elections, and Congressional Republicans know this. If building a strategy on the turnout of younger voters worked, then John Kerry would be president now. So why is Rove doing it now, other than ego and to establish Bush's legacy at the expense of his own party's fortunes in the coming elections?

That’s why Democrats should run in 2006 and again in 2008 on the negative aspects behind privatization and the abandonment of the safety net. The DCCC and DSCC should overtly begin targeting now those GOP House and Senate members most vulnerable to these challenges. After all, it wouldn’t hurt to go after slugs up for re-election in the Senate next year on privatization, in states where Kerry won, like Rick Santorum.

Sure, if the GOP slugs like Ricky Santorum want to talk about values next year in the 2006 midterms, then let's give them the values campaign they deserve.

Steve :: 12:01 PM :: Comments (16) :: Digg It!