• Polling

The Fate of Social Security, Medicare, and Abortion Rights Are Biggest Concerns of a Republican Congress

Thursday, September 8, 2022 By Bryan Bennett
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Key takeaways
  • Majorities are concerned by a range of possibilities if Republicans win a majority in Congress, with ending guaranteed Social Security and Medicare, book bans, tax cuts for the rich, and abortion bans at the top; however, there are signs many feel these actions would be unlikely to happen.
  • The most concerning frames about Republican elected officials focus on their desire to cut education, Medicare, and Social Security; their desire to ban abortions without exceptions; and their failure to look out for people who work for a living, all of which are seen as some of the truest of the frames tested.
  • Majorities are concerned about the way Republicans in Congress are handling their jobs and see them as “for the wealthy,” “corrupt,” and “dishonest.”

More Americans Are Hearing Positive News About Biden than Republicans in Congress

Positive recall about the President focuses on his recent decision to forgive federal student loan debt, while positive recall on Republicans in Congress centers around the economy, inflation, and voting against recent bills in Congress.

Top Concerns About a Republican Congress: Fate of Social Security/Medicare, Abortion & Book Bans, Overturned Elections

Independents are most concerned about the fate of Social Security and Medicare (75% concerning) and throwing out election results (70%), while Democrats are most concerned about Social Security and Medicare (91%), tax cuts for the rich (88%), and abortion bans (90%).

Abortion Bans Are Among Most Likely & Concerning GOP Acts; Ending SS/Medicare and Book Bans Concerning, But Less Likely

Half of respondents were asked how likely each potential outcome of a Republican Congress is while half were asked how concerning each is. The elimination of the January 6th committee and an investigation of Hunter Biden are seen as most likely, though not the most concerning. Abortion bans and tax cuts for the rich are seen as likely and deeply concerning, while ending Social Security and Medicare, banning books, and throwing out election results are among the most concerning, but viewed as among the least likely to happen.

Three in Five Find a Range of Frames About Republicans Concerning, Particularly Medicare/SS Threats & Abortion Bans

Independents are most concerned about Republican elected officials wanting to make “massive cuts to public education, Medicare, and Social Security” (60% concerning) and wanting to ban abortion with no exceptions (59%).

Americans Find Narratives About Republican Abortion Bans & Programs Cuts Most Credible and Most Concerning

Half of respondents were asked how true they felt each statement was while the other half was asked how concerning each statement was. The statements that were most concerning and perceived as most true were hits about Republican officials wanting to ban abortion and make cuts to education, Medicare, and Social Security. Those perceived as less true and less concerning focus on Republican extremism including QAnon and the Proud Boys and Republican elected officials wanting to defund the FBI and supporting the mob on January 6th.

Three in Five Are Concerned by Republicans and Say They Are “for the Wealthy,” “Corrupt,” “Dishonest,” “Out of Touch

A majority of independents (59%) have major concerns about how Republicans in Congress are handling their jobs and are most likely to describe them as “for the wealthy” (34%), “corrupt” (34%), “dishonest” (30%), and “out-of-touch” (29%).

Majority of Americans Believe Political Division Will Worsen if Republicans Win Control of Congress

Half of Black (55%), Hispanic (50%), and AAPI Americans (52%) believe the overall state of the country will get worse if Republicans win.


About The Study

Global Strategy Group conducted public opinion surveys among a sample of 1,000 registered voters from August 26-August 31, 2022. 104 additional interviews were conducted among Hispanic voters. 77 additional interviews were conducted among Asian American and Pacific Islander voters. 103 additional interviews were conducted among African American voters. 100 additional interviews were conducted among independent voters.

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In a world where the news cycle is the length of a tweet, our leaders often lack the real-time public-sentiment analysis to shape the best approaches to talking about the issues that matter the most. Navigator is designed to act as a consistent, flexible, responsive tool to inform policy debates by conducting research and reliable guidance to inform allies, elected leaders, and the press. Navigator is a project led by pollsters from Global Strategy Group and GBAO along with an advisory committee, including: Andrea Purse, progressive strategist; Arkadi Gerney, The Hub Project; Joel Payne, The Hub Project; Christina Reynolds, EMILY’s List; Delvone Michael, Working Families; Felicia Wong, Roosevelt Institute; Mike Podhorzer, AFL-CIO; Jesse Ferguson, progressive strategist; Navin Nayak, Center for American Progress Action Fund; Stephanie Valencia, EquisLabs; and Melanie Newman, Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

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