Republican lawmakers who planned to ride Rep. Paul Ryan’s proposed Medicare and Medicaid overhaul to glory can think again, as polling confirms the voter opposition demonstrated in New York’s 26th Congressional District on Tuesday. The conservative district elected underdog Democrat Kathy Hochul after she successfully made opponent Jane Corwin’s candidacy a referendum on Medicare and Medicaid reform. That race drew national attention and campaign financing, but is still just one contest. However, polling in Ohio and elsewhere indicates that Americans would prefer that federally subsidized health care not be subjected to Ryan’s plan. A Public Policy Polling survey found that 76 percent of Ohio voters opposed cutting spending on Medicare in order to reduce the national debt. — KDG

Toledo Blade:

The poll by Public Policy Polling asked 1,000 Ohio voters: “In order to reduce the national debt, would you support or oppose cutting spending on Medicare, which is the government health insurance program for the elderly?”

The respondents split 76 percent opposed to 20 percent in support.

The poll was done in states with Democratic senators up for re-election in 2012, which includes Ohio with Democratic incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown.

“This polling shows that Democratic incumbents facing re-election in 2012 will have overwhelming support if they defend Medicare and Medicaid — and will have serious problems if they vote to cut either program in any way,” said Stephanie Taylor, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, one of four groups that sponsored the poll. The others were, Democracy for America, and Credo Action.

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