President Reagan's turnabout on Social Security appears to have had quick and favorable political results for him, confirming the axiom that the elderly out there are always watching.
In May, Health and Human Services Secretary Richard S. Schweiker announced administration plans for cuts in Social Security benefits, and, despite a backlash in Congress and across the nation, cuts were made.
Immediately, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll at the time, Reagan began to lose support from people over the age of 60. His approval rating dropped from more than 70 percent favorable among them to 50 percent favorable, with a notably high 39 percent giving an unfavorable rating.
Reagan has been trying to make it up to the elderly ever since. He has announced that he wants the cuts restored, proposed establishing a bipartisan committee to look into solving problems in the Social Security program, and assured Social Security recipients that their benefits would remain intact.
The latest Post-ABC News poll, conducted Oct. 14 to Oct. 18, shows Reagan declining in popularity among younger people and just about holding his own among the middle-aged. But those over 60 now give him a 59 percent favorable and 29 percent unfavorable rating.