Social Security Polling Memo PDF

PEW: Majorities across demographic groups say no cuts should be made to Social Security benefits in the future

March 2019
  • 74 percent of Americans say Social Security benefits should not be reduced in any way.
  • 65 percent of adults aged 18 to 29 oppose cuts to Social Security; 77 percent of adults aged 30 to 49 hold that view while 80 percent of adults over 50 hold that view.
  • 64 percent of adults with a Bachelor’s degree say Social Security benefits should not be cut for future retirees; 79 percent of those with less education say Social Security benefits should not be cut future retirees.

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Public Policy Polling: “Voters overwhelmingly support expanding Social Security and Medicare, as well as taking federal action to lower drug prices.”

March 2018
  • 84 percent of voters are more likely to back candidates who support taking federal action to lower prescription drug prices, vs. 11 percent who are less likely
  • 66 percent of voters are more likely to back candidates who support expanding and increasing Social Security benefits, vs. 18 percent who are less likely
  • 64 percent of voters are more likely to back candidates who support expanding Medicare, vs. 22 percent who are less likely

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Public Policy Polling: “Voters support expanding Social Security by making the wealthy pay their fair share”

October 2016

Majorities of Americans of all ages, genders, races, and political affiliations support expanding Social Security by asking millionaires and billionaires to pay more into the system, including:

  • 75 percent of men and 69 percent of women
  • 69 percent of whites, 82 percent of African Americans, and 79 percent of Latinos
  • 70 percent of 18-29 year olds, 65 percent of 30-45 year olds, 76 percent of 46-65 year olds, and 70 percent of Americans over 65
  • 87 percent of Democrats, 73 percent of Independents, and 51 percent of Republicans

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Gallup: “Social Security Historical Trends”

April 2016
  • 51 percent of Americans would choose raising taxes as a method to strengthen Social Security.
  • 63 percent of Americans believe it would be a bad idea to raise the retirement age for those under 55 in order to address concerns with Social Security.
  • 67 percent of Americans believe requiring high income workers to pay Social Security taxes on all of their wages is a good idea.
  • 57 percent of Americans believe that reducing benefits for people who are currently under 55 is a bad idea.

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AARP: “Social Security 80th Anniversary Survey Report, Public Opinion Trends”

August 2015
  • 61 percent of Americans believe the average monthly retiree benefit of $1,322 for 2015 is too low.
  • Majorities of all ages agree that it is beneficial to pay more into Social Security now in order to protect benefits for future generations.

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Gallup: New Polling on Social Security

August 2015
  • 57 percent of Americans prefer a raise in Social Security taxes rather than a cut in benefits to ensure long-term solvency of the program.

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SSW: “Iowa and New Hampshire Voters Strongly Favor Protecting Social Security Benefits”

August 2015

A majority of voters in New Hampshire and Iowa would vote against a candidate who proposed cutting or reducing Social Security benefits.

  • 63 percent of Iowa voters say they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who proposed cutting or reducing Social Security benefits.
  • 71 percent of voters from New Hampshire would be less likely to vote for a candidate who proposed cutting or reducing Social Security benefits.

A strong majority of New Hampshire and Iowa voters would support a candidate whose campaign platform protected Social Security benefits.

  • 80 percent of Iowa and New Hampshire voters say they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who proposed protecting our Social Security benefits.

Over three-quarters of voters in Iowa and New Hampshire believe that the payroll tax dedicated to Social Security should be equally applied to everyone regardless of income.

  • 77 percent of voters in New Hampshire and 76 percent of voters in Iowa believe that Congress should make millionaires and billionaires pay the same rate on all of their income, by eliminating the maximum taxable wage base and applying it to earned and invested income.

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National Institute on Retirement Security: “Retirement Security 2015: Roadmap for Policy Makers”

March 2015
  • 69 percent of Americans oppose cutting spending when it comes to reducing Social Security benefits for future generations
  • 73 percent of Americans oppose cutting benefits for current retirees and 53 percent strongly oppose cutting benefits for current retirees

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NASI: “Americans Make Hard Choices on Social Security”

October 2014
  • 86 percent of Americans agree that Social Security benefits do not provide enough income for retirees.
  • 72 percent of Americans agree we should consider raising Social Security benefits in order to provide a secure retirement for working Americans.
  • 85 percent of Americans believe that Social Security benefits are now more important than ever.
  • 81 percent of Americans don’t mind paying Social Security taxes because they provide stability and security to millions.
  • 72 percent of Americans think we should consider increasing Social Security benefits.

  • 55 percent of Americans believed that the average Social Security disability benefit in January 2014 ($1,146) was too low.
  • 77 percent of working Americans would pay more to preserve Social Security benefits.
  • 83 percent of top earners would pay more to preserve Social Security benefits.
  • 71 percent would prefer a package of changes that increases Social Security revenues, pays for benefit improvements, and eliminates the projected financing gap.

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