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« President Bush's Approval Ratings. | WILLisms.com | The American Dream. »

Fox News Poll Analysis: Pro-Choice On Social Security.

Some eye-opening numbers from the latest Fox News poll:

First, President Bush's job approval:

47% approve
43% disapprove
10% don't know

This actually marks a net improvement of one point over Fox's last survey.

Meanwhile, Bush's favorability rating:

52% favorable
43% unfavorable
5% can't say

This is a net improvement of 4 points over Fox's last survey.

Now, on Social Security (click on tables for original .pdf):


Do you believe the Social Security system is something the president and Congress need to fix now or is it something to let others worry about later?


More and more, people understand there is a problem. People are demanding action rather than obstruction, sooner rather than later.


Who do you trust more to handle your retirement investment decisions -- you and your family or the federal government? (ROTATE)


The cornerstone of Social Security reform is personal choice. People trust themselves more than they trust the government. Reformers need to re-focus on this point. It's a big winner, clearly.


Thinking about Social Security contributions, do you think people under age 55 should have the right to choose between keeping all of their contributions in the current system and investing a portion of their contributions?


When framed as a choice (which President Bush's reform plan would be), support for reform skyrockets and opposition plummets. Reformers must redouble their efforts in convincing the American people that under a reformed Social Security system, they would not be forced to do anything.


In terms of the voluntary nature of the reform, the previous Fox News poll (.pdf), 39% understood that everyone would have a choice, 12% believed everyone would be required to participate, 42% said they had not heard enough, and 6% said they didn't know.

Those numbers improved dramatically over the past month:

Based on what you know about the Social Security proposal for personal investment accounts, is it your understanding that individuals could continue under the current system if they wanted or is it your understanding that everyone would be required to put a portion of their retirement money in stocks and mutual funds?


As more people understand that Social Security reform would allow individuals the choice to open a personal account or remain in the system, the inertia of reform will overtake the now-hesitant Congress.


Based on what you know about the Social Security personal investment proposal, would you want the choice to invest a portion of your Social Security contributions in stocks or mutual funds?


Apparently, President Bush IS GAINING MOMENTUM on Social Security reform. People, personally, are becoming much more comfortable with the idea of personal accounts:


Those under 30 saw the largest jump, proving again just how irrelevant Rock the Vote is:


Clearly, people are beginning to really catch on to Social Security reform, as an abstract idea, and as something in which they would participate personally.

According to all of these numbers, President Bush's 60-Day tour has been a clear and stunning success. No longer is the debate over whether there is a crisis or not (Americans pretty much agree there is at least a severe problem looming). As increasing numbers of Americans begin to understand the nuances of President Bush's proposal, they are catching on to it. The groundwork is being laid for a more reasonable discussion on the topic; Democrats had better start negotiating in good faith, or they will get severely burned.

Just for reference, the party ID breakdown for this poll went as such:

39% Republican
39% Democrat
17% Independent
2% Other
4% Refused/Don't Know

More analysis of this poll to come, so stay tuned to WILLisms.com.

Posted by Will Franklin · 27 April 2005 05:42 PM


I really believe that the blogs are bringing much truth to the issues on Social Insecurity!... Personally I go to the blogs for my news. The main stream media is so liberal! Fox is becoming more and more unfair and unbalanced every time I watch! Even the liberal blogs are more news worthy than the liberal media! It is quite clear to everyone that Social Security Is an important issue for our future generations! It does not matter if you are liberal. conservative, black, or white. Social Security is not a good investment for our future!... I think WILLisms.com displays this issue better than anyone I have seen in blogland so far!... I really like your graphs too!... Thanks WILLisms.com for the info.

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at April 27, 2005 06:24 PM

RE: Question 1

I am somewhat disheartened at the 55 year olds' response to this question. I guess 34% are betting that they'll get their allotment of forced income redistribution and die before the whole system goes down the shitter.

Why, thanks gramps! And people wonder why Americans put their parents in nursing homes.

Posted by: Andrew at April 27, 2005 06:34 PM

There are so many other solutions to Social Security than destabilizing the federal budget and causing interest rates to rise. This is what will happen when investors (domestic and foreign) realize that the governments ability to pay it's debts is not as strong without the "ballast" provided by the stability of the Social Security Trust Fund.

Sure, every constituency has their favorite government program and doesn't want to see it get cut. But, eventually, one thing we need to learn live without is huge chunks of corporate welfare on our dinner table. Families need to start carrying more of their own weight, and relying less on handouts from the Fed's.

Posted by: Scotty at April 28, 2005 06:51 PM

Joseph Biden is the biggest blow hard do nothing, say nothing Senator. I hope people will wake up and see what a partisan do nothing leader he is! He is truly a great do nothing, good for nothing worthless Senator!...Thank You for letting me get that off my chest...

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at April 28, 2005 08:26 PM

A solution to Social Security is this.....If you've never paid a dime into it, you do not collect anything! Also, these foreigners coming illegally into the country getting paid CASH through their jobs- make that illegal- they must pay into Social Security. They work here and live here- let them pay taxes like the rest of us do! Finally, our jails were loaded with thousands and thousands who could be doing community service instead of jail time. They also could be working and contributing into Social Security. It would solve two problems!!

Posted by: Janice at April 29, 2005 09:08 AM