The Ryan Plan, Seniors, and Montana 2012

Aaron Flint posted on April 27, 2011 12:17 :: 1497 Views

As the 2012 election nears, you can already spot both Congressman Denny Rehberg (R-MT) and Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) reserving their campsites for the middle ground.  That fact is evident in the early positioning by both gentlemen when it comes to the deficit reduction plan known as “The Ryan Plan” put forward by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI).  

If you read The New York Times today, the storyline is that the GOP is getting beat up on The Ryan Plan by seniors at townhall meetings.  But then, if you read the Gallup poll results, you may draw another conclusion.  

First from the Times, as today’s Politico Playbook provided this synopsis:

 GOP “INCREASINGLY ON DEFENSIVE” AT TOWN HALLS — N.Y. Times p. 1, “Voters Attack Republicans On Medicare,” by Jennifer Steinhauer in Fort Lauderdale and Carl Hulse in Washington: “After 10 days of trying to sell constituents on their plan to overhaul Medicare, House Republicans in multiple districts appear to be increasingly on the defensive, facing worried and angry questions from voters and a barrage of new attacks from Democrats and their allies. The proposed new approach to Medicare … has been a constant topic at town-hall-style sessions and other public gatherings during a two-week Congressional recess that provided the first chance for lawmakers to gauge reaction to the plan.” 

That’s from the Times.  Now, from the right, Ed Morrissey at is pointing to fresh polling data from Gallup that shows how the Ryan Plan is polling better than the Obama plan among seniors. 

Ryan’s plan includes a complete restructuring of Medicare for people younger than 55. Pluralities of middle-aged Americans as well as those 65 and older prefer Ryan’s plan to Obama’s, while adults 18 to 29 show more support for Obama’s, 53% to 30%. These findings are in line with approval of Obama by age, more generally.

You can rest assured that both the Tester and the Rehberg camps will be following this data closely, especially considering the fact that Tester irked the left by telling MSNBC that the Ryan plan was “a good place to start.”  Rehberg, meanwhile, irked some on the right by voting against the Ryan plan in the House. 

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