The CBS/New York Times/Quinnipiac poll of three crucial swing states released Thursday morning reveals that President Barack Obama is so far winning the battle between campaigns on Medicare. The poll found that in Florida, Wisconsin and Ohio — three key battlegrounds — voters trust the president to do a better job with the system. This could prove significant, because after the economy and health care in general, Medicare ranks as the third most important issue for voters in all three states, according to the poll.
Obama has at least 8-point leads on the issue in all three states. He leads Romney 51-42 in Wisconsin; 51-41 in Ohio; and 50-42 in Florida, the state with a large population of seniors currently enrolled in Medicare.
The poll suggests that this is largely due to the fact that most voters don’t want to see their Medicare benefits reduced. In all three states, at least 74 per cent of voters surveyed said the benefits of Medicare are worth the costs.
At least 59 per cent of voters in all three states preferred Medicare to continue as it is rather than shift to a voucher-type system, as Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have proposed. And a large chunk of voters would not support any cuts to Medicare benefits — even if it meant a reduction in the federal budget deficit.
The Social Security and Medicare Trustees say Medicare is on track to be bankrupt by 2024.
But even though the president scores high on Medicare, voters don’t give him the same level of trust on health care in general. By double-digit margins, voters in all three states think the Affordable Care Act will harm them rather than help them.
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