Poll Watchers: Entitlement reform, debt debate and gender differences on job recovery

Would the public really support entitlement reform? A new release from the Pew Research Center shows a broad rejection of benefit cuts, even as most see a need for major reform of the Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid programs. One reason for the split: performance issues. Majorities in the new poll say each of the programs is doing an “only fair” or “poor” job serving recipients.

Debt debate and the economy – By nearly 2 to 1 in the latest Marist-McClatchy poll, more people say the government’s top priority should be debt reduction, not stimulus, even if this means a slower economic recovery. Republicans and independents largely side with debt reduction, but Democrats split narrowly – 50 to 45 percent – in favor of economic stimulus.

Battle of the sexes: Jobs and the recovery – Men were hit harder by the economic downturn, but they’ve also outpaced women in picking up new jobs since the recession officially ended, according to a new analysis of government data by Pew Social Trends. It’s unclear why women are faring more poorly than men in the tepid recovery, although Pew researchers point to one contributing reason: Women are disproportionately concentrated in government sector jobs, which have suffered in the recovery.

Peyton M. Craighill is polling manager for the Washington Post. Peyton reports and conducts national and regional news polls for the Washington Post, with a focus on politics, elections and other social and economic issues.

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