On Campaign Trail, Polls And Politics Swirl Around Medicare, Abortion Debates


Topics: Medicare, Politics, Health Reform, States

Aug 24, 2012

A New York Times/CBS News/Quinnipiac poll finds that even in the midst of the Medicare debate, presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney appears to have gained ground in Florida and other swing states.

The Boston Globe: Despite Medicare Plan, Romney Gains In Swing States
Voters in Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin overwhelmingly favor traditional Medicare over the voucher program proposed by the Republican presidential ticket, but Mitt Romney has made slight overall gains in recent weeks, according to a New York Times/CBS News/Quinnipiac University poll published Thursday. Florida, with its large retirement population, has been in the campaign spotlight since Romney picked Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan as his running mate two weeks ago. Romney has said his version of Medicare reform closely mirrors that of Ryan, who has proposed introducing a premium support system for new Medicare enrollees, beginning in 2023 (Borchers, 8/23).

According to polling data released by the conservative American Action Network, the GOP’s Medicare message is playing well while a poll from Planned Parenthood’s advocacy arm concludes Romney’s policies on abortion and contraception issues are out of step with women voters in swing states.

Politico: Gauging The Democratic Edge On Medicare
The conservative American Action Network released a raft of polling data today with this good news for the GOP: the Republican message on Medicare and the economy is strong enough to neutralize Democrats‘ traditional advantage in the entitlements debate. This comes only a day after Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg and strategist James Carville released a memo offering this encouragement to Democrats: Senior citizens have turned strongly against the GOP as a result of the Republican Party’s “war on Medicare.” These assessments are mutually exclusive, but the underlying data actually isn’t. Both the AAN polling, conducted by the Winston Group, and the Greenberg polling shows that Democrats have about a 6-point advantage on the broad question of which party voters trust more to handle Medicare (Burns, 8/23).

The Hill: Poll: Female Voters Say Romney Is ‘Out Of Step’ On Women’s Health Issues
Female voters in swing states see Mitt Romney as “out of step” on issues of women’s health, according to a new poll commissioned by Planned Parenthood’s advocacy arm. The survey, conducted by Hart Research Associates, lends credence to Democrats’ argument that the presumptive GOP presidential nominee is on the wrong end of a steep gender gap, largely because of his opposition to abortion rights and his positions on issues such as contraception. By a 20-point margin, women surveyed in the Planned Parenthood Action Fund poll said Romney is “out of step” on women’s issues. That number increased as women heard “specific information about Romney’s on-the-record statements about women’s preventive and reproductive health,” the Hart polling memo says (Baker, 8/23).

And, the ad wars are picking up as GOP-affiliated Crossroads GPS airs a commercial in the Florida Senate race and the Romney campaign offers its latest effort on Medicare and the health law –

Roll Call (Video): Crossroads GPS Launches New Senate Ads
The juggernaut GOP-affiliated group Crossroads GPS began airing a new ad here in Florida today knocking two-term Sen. Bill Nelson (D) for his vote in favor of Obama’s signature health care law. “Florida seniors are facing a health care crisis: only 14 physicians to every 1,000 Medicare beneficiaries,” a female narrator says. “But in Washington, Bill Nelson’s been voting for the new health care law, which cuts Medicare spending by $700 billion; puts unelected bureaucrats between Florida’s 3 million Medicare recipients and the care they need, hurting Florida seniors.” “Tell Senator Nelson, it’s time to repeal,” she says. The ad is backed by a $2.4 million buy on broadcast and cable TV in Florida. It’s part of the group’s wider push of spots, launched today against Democratic Senate candidates, that also includes ads in Montana, New Mexico and Ohio (Miller, 8/23).

The Associated Press: AdWatch: New Romney Ad Criticizes Obamacare
The ad first asserts that “some” people think Obamacare is the same as free care, but doesn’t bother to say who that might be. It then criticizes Obama for “raiding” money from Medicare to pay for the new expansion of health care coverage that is his signature achievement. Both Romney and Obama are seeking to stoke fears among older voters about each other’s proposed Medicare changes, each charging the other would gut the program (Miga, 8/23).

This is part of Kaiser Health News’ Daily Report – a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day’s news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.

Romney

Romney (Photo credit: Talk Radio News Service)

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