Back in February, Florida Republican Sen. Rick Scott released a 11-point policy agenda for the GOP that stirred some controversy by, among other things, calling for all Americans to have some “skin in the game” by paying federal income taxes. The plan also proposed to have federal legislation to sunset after five years, saying, “If a law is worth keeping, Congress can pass it again.”
The Scott plan wasn’t exactly well-received, even among fellow Republicans. "Let me tell you what would not be a part of our agenda,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters days after the plan was unveiled. “We would not have as part of our agenda a bill that raises taxes on half the American people and sunsets Social Security and Medicare within five years. That will not be part of a Republican Senate majority agenda.”
Scott, who chairs the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, released the plan independently, and McConnell reportedly warned at the time that the proposal would give Democrats ammunition for a bevy of midterm election attack ads.
Sure enough, Democrats are still looking to score points off the plan. Case in point: A new poll conducted on behalf of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee found that attacks based on the Scott plan were highly effective in Senate battleground states.
The poll, conducted by Blue Rose Research and highlighted at The Hill, found that 65% of voters said they were less likely to support the GOP “if Senate Republicans have a new plan that would end Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security in five years.” Six in 10 voters said they’d be less likely to support Republicans if the party has a plan to raise taxes on more than half of all Americans. And 55% of voters said they were less likely to support Republicans if the GOP had a plan to “end the coverage protections for pre-existing conditions from the Affordable Care Act in five years.”
The survey was conducted in Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Nevada, New Hampshire and Wisconsin from March 25 to 30. It collected 2,777 responses.
The bottom line: It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are popular — or that higher taxes and removing protections for pre-existing conditions aren’t. You can expect to see more Democratic attacks along these lines, even against GOP candidates who haven’t backed Scott’s agenda.