Today’s USA Today/Gallup poll results bring good news for the GOP. Although the public has significant fears about the Paul Ryan plan for addressing entitlement spending, it looks like the opportunties for Democrats to capitalize on demagoguing the plan are limited.
First, the bad news: almost two-thirds of Americans think the Ryan plan will remove needed protections for the poor and disadvantaged to “protect the rich at the expense of everyone else.” Also, people are split between the Ryan plan and President Obama’s proposal.
The other responses, though, make it look like Republicans hold a strong hand in deficit negotiations. More than 75 percent of respondents think that the deficits resulted from too much spending as opposed to too little revenue, and a plurality believe that the problem should be addressed with mostly or entirely spending cuts. And when it comes to budget issues, the GOP holds a 12 percentage point trust advantage over Democrats.
The bottom line is that the Democrats early efforts to scare voters about the Republicans’ deficit plans have been a failure. That could change when voters learn more about the specifics included in the Path to Prosperity or as the elections approach, but for now the news is reassuring for Republicans trying to reform entitlements.