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AARP SURVEY: SOUTH CAROLINA

Presented By: Brooks Kochvar Greg Strimple

GS Strategy Group 350 N. Ninth Street, Suite 550 Boise, ID 83702 (208) 342-1545

SC Primary Survey: October 18-19, 2011; 400N/4.90% Margin of Error

About AARP
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a membership that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with over 35.1 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's millions of members and Americans 50+; AARP VIVA, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP.org. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

About GS Strategy Group


GS Strategy group is an award-winning public opinion research firm headed by some of the country's most experienced corporate and political strategists. The firm is located in Boise, Idaho. For more information, call (208) 342-1545.

Acknowledgements
GS Strategy Group conducted this research with funding from AARP. National media inquiries should be directed to Jim Dau at jdau@aarp.org or (202) 434-2560. For media inquiries in South Carolina, please contact Patrick Cobb at pcobb@aarp.org or (803) 261-0304.

For additional information, please contact Khelan Bhatia, Senior Advisor for Voter Education, at kbhatia@aarp.org. Copyright 2011 AARP 601 E Street, NW Washington, DC 20049 www.aarp.org/youearnedit Reprinting with permission only

KEY FINDINGS
Overview Republican primary voters in South Carolina believe Social Security and Medicare are critical to the economic security and health care of middle class seniors in retirement. Despite talk in Washington about cutting Social Security and Medicare to reduce the deficit, Republican voters in South Carolina overwhelmingly oppose cuts to the benefits they say theyve earned and they need. Across the ideological spectrum in the Republican Party, including Tea Party members, strong majorities oppose cuts to Social Security and Medicare to meet federal budget targets. Major Findings The Washington establishment greatly misunderstands Republican primary and caucus voters in IA, NH, SC and FL who will nominate the next Presidential candidate. By more than 3:1, South Carolinas GOP primary voters OPPOSE cuts to Social Security and Medicare to balance the budget. Even strong majorities of very conservative GOP voters and voters who agree with the Tea Party OPPOSE cuts to these programs. And as church attendance increases, so does opposition to cuts to Social Security and Medicare benefits. Strong majorities of each presidential candidates supporters oppose these cuts. Any Republican candidate advancing cuts to these programs puts their vote at risk. When asked about their Medicare and Social Security benefits, GOP primary voters believe theyve earned it, paid into it their entire life, and need it. They know there are other, less critical areas of government spending that can be cut instead. By wide, super majorities, South Carolinas GOP primary voters prefer withdrawing troops from Iraq and Afghanistan as an alternative to cutting either Social Security or Medicare. These findings are consistent across all early primary states in which research was conducted (Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida).
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GS Strategy Group

SOUTH CAROLINAS GOP PRIMARY VOTERS

88.9% say Social Security benefits are or will be important to their monthly income in retirement.

58.0% of GOP primary voters in South Carolina are currently retired.


44.3% rely on Medicare for their current form of health insurance.

37.3% are currently AARP members.

GS Strategy Group

SOUTH CAROLINA ELECTORATE

100%

Voter Ideology
If you had to label yourself, would you say you are a liberal, a moderate or a conservative in your political beliefs?

80% 60% 40% 20% 0%

73.5%
28.8% SWhat

Liberal Moderate Conservative

20.0% 5.3%
44.8% Very

Issues
In general, are you most interested in economic issues, like taxes, jobs and the budget deficit; foreign affairs issues like national defense and terrorism; social issues like education, health care and the environment; local community issues like crime, drugs and immigration reform; or moral issues like the right to life and same sex marriage?

Economic, 72.5%

Moral, 9.0% Social, 6.0% Local, 5.0% DK/Refused, 3.8% For. Affairs, 3.8%

GS Strategy Group

SOUTH CAROLINA PRIMARY


Please tell me whether you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of: Herman Cain
Favorable

100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0%


34.0% SWhat

Unfavorable

66.5%

No Opinion

14.5%
32.5% Very

16.3%

Ideology

Issue Econ. 66.6 15.5 +51.1 Moral 61.1 11.1 +50.0 Agree/ Attend 79.4 8.8 +70.6

Tea Party Agree/ Not Attend 72.0 13.0 +59.0 Disagree 47.1 27.1 +20.0

Church Attendance Attend Regularly 65.8 16.0 +49.8 Rarely/ Never 65.8 14.5 +51.3 Greenville 65.5 16.5 +49.0

Media Market Columbia 68.3 14.6 +53.7 Charleston 73.1 10.4 +62.7
Favorable

Overall
Favorable Unfavorable Net Fav

SWhat Very Mod Con Con 64.3 11.3 +53.0 74.3 11.2 +63.1

66.5 58.8 14.5 25.0 +52.0 +33.8

Please tell me whether you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of: Mitt Romney

100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0%


40.3% SWhat

Unfavorable

66.5%

No Opinion

19.8%
26.3% Very

12.3%

Ideology

Issue Econ. 67.9 19.3 +48.6 Moral 50.0 30.6 +19.4 Agree/ Attend 67.6 32.4 +35.3

Tea Party Agree/ Not Attend 68.2 19.5 +48.7 Disagree 65.7 14.3 +51.4

Church Attendance Attend Regularly 62.5 21.8 +40.7 Rarely/ Never 73.7 18.4 +55.3 Greenville 66.2 20.1 +46.1

Media Market Columbia 67.1 18.3 +48.8 Charleston 73.1 16.4 +56.7

Overall
Favorable Unfavorable Net Fav 66.5

SWhat Very Mod Con Con 71.3 67.0 17.4 +49.6 63.7 23.5 +40.2

19.8 17.5 +46.8 +53.8

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SOUTH CAROLINA PRIMARY


Please tell me whether you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of: Newt Gingrich
Favorable

100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% 55.3%


33.0% SWhat 22.3% Very

Unfavorable No Opinion

30.0% 13.8%

Ideology

Issue Econ. 56.6 29.3 +27.2 Moral 63.9 22.2 +41.7 Agree/ Attend 67.6 26.5 +41.2

Tea Party Agree/ Not Attend 64.0 23.4 +40.6 Disagree 30.0 52.9 -22.9

Church Attendance Attend Regularly 54.5 28.7 +25.8 Rarely/ Never 53.9 32.9 +21.1 Greenville 56.1 33.1 +23.0

Media Market Columbia 52.4 26.8 +25.6 Charleston 59.7 25.4 +34.3
Favorable

Overall
Favorable Unfavorable Net Fav 55.3 30.0 +25.3

SWhat Very Mod Con Con 41.3 45.0 -3.8 57.4 26.1 +31.3 63.1 23.5 +39.6

Please tell me whether you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of: Rick Perry

100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0%


11.5% Very

Unfavorable No Opinion

50.3%
38.8% SWhat

22.3%

24.0%

Ideology

Issue Econ. 50.3 23.1 +27.2 Moral 44.4 11.1 +33.3 Agree/ Attend 61.8 26.5 +35.3

Tea Party Agree/ Not Attend 55.6 18.0 +37.5 Disagree 32.9 35.7 -2.9

Church Attendance Attend Regularly 49.8 20.4 +29.4 Rarely/ Never 50.0 30.3 +19.7 Greenville 47.5 22.3 +25.2

Media Market Columbia 51.2 20.7 +30.5 Charleston 59.7 22.4 +37.3

Overall
Favorable Unfavorable Net Fav 50.3 22.3 +28.0

SWhat Very Mod Con Con 41.3 35.0 +6.3 46.1 26.1 +20.0 58.1 12.3 +45.8

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SOUTH CAROLINA PRIMARY


Please tell me whether you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of: Ron Paul
Favorable

100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% 31.3%


22.0% SWhat

Unfavorable No Opinion

44.8% 20.5%

Ideology

Issue Econ. 30.7 46.2 -15.5 Moral 27.8 38.9 -11.1 Agree/ Attend 44.1 44.1 0.0

Tea Party Agree/ Not Attend 33.3 46.7 -13.4 Disagree 24.3 42.9 -18.6

Church Attendance Attend Regularly 28.4 45.5 -17.1 Rarely/ Never 34.2 47.4 -13.2 Greenville 34.5 41.7 -7.2

Media Market Columbia 29.3 41.5 -12.2 Charleston 26.9 50.7 -23.9
Favorable

Overall
Favorable Unfavorable Net Fav 31.3 44.8 -13.5

SWhat Very Mod Con Con 35.0 52.5 -17.5 27.0 42.6 -15.7 33.5 41.3 -7.8

Please tell me whether you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of: Michele Bachmann

100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% 37.3%


26.8% SWhat 10.5% Very

Unfavorable No Opinion

42.3% 17.5%

Ideology

Issue Econ. 38.6 42.8 -4.1 Moral 38.9 36.1 +2.8 Agree/ Attend 52.9 41.2 +11.8

Tea Party Agree/ Not Attend 44.4 35.6 +8.8 Disagree 11.4 72.9 -61.4

Church Attendance Attend Regularly 41.1 38.9 +2.2 Rarely/ Never 27.6 50.0 -22.4 Greenville 41.7 40.3 +1.4

Media Market Columbia 31.7 46.3 -14.6 Charleston 43.3 40.3 +3.0

Overall
Favorable Unfavorable Net Fav 37.3 42.3 -5.0

SWhat Very Mod Con Con 22.5 62.5 -40.0 32.2 41.7 -9.6 49.2 31.3 +17.9

GS Strategy Group

GOP BALLOTSOUTH CAROLINA


If the Republican Presidential Primary were held today, of the following candidates, for whom would you vote?

40% 30% 20% 10% 0%

Cain

Romney

Perry

Gingrich

Paul

Bachmann

Huntsman

Santorum

Undecided

27.8%

27.0%

19.5%
7.8% 7.3% 5.0% 3.0% 1.5%

1.3%

Ideology Overall Cain Romney Perry Gingrich Paul Bachmann Huntsman Santorum Undecided

Issue

Tea Party

Church Attendance

Media Market

Mod
23.8 32.5 5.0 5.0 7.5 6.3 3.8 1.3 15.0

SWhat Con
27.8 31.3 6.1 3.5 5.2 3.5 0.9 0.0 21.7

Very Con
31.8 21.2 9.5 10.6 3.4 1.7 0.6 2.2 19.0

Econ.
27.9 30.0 5.9 6.6 5.5 2.8 1.0 1.4 19.0

Moral
33.3 16.7 13.9 11.1 5.6 2.8 0.0 2.8 13.9

Agree/ Attend
35.3 20.6 8.8 11.8 2.9 0.0 0.0 2.9 17.6

Agree/ Not Attend


31.4 26.8 6.9 7.7 5.4 3.8 0.8 0.8 16.5

Disagree
15.7 28.6 12.9 7.1 4.3 0.0 5.7 2.9 22.9

Attend Regularly
27.6 25.5 9.1 8.7 4.0 3.3 1.1 1.1 19.6

Rarely/ Never
22.4 32.9 5.3 5.3 6.6 2.6 3.9 1.3 19.7

Greenville
28.8 23.0 7.2 6.5 7.9 4.3 1.4 1.4 19.4

Columbia
25.6 29.3 9.8 11.0 3.7 2.4 0.0 0.0 18.3

Charleston
31.3 29.9 6.0 3.0 0.0 3.0 4.5 3.0 19.4

27.8 27.0 7.8 7.3 5.0 3.0 1.5 1.3 19.5

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TEA PARTY AND RELIGIONSOUTH CAROLINA


Which of the following best describes you: You agree with the Tea Party and have attended Tea Party events You agree with the Tea Party but have not attended Tea Party events You do not agree with the Tea Party You are not aware of the Tea Party
Overall Agree w/Tea Party Do Not Agree Net Agree 73.8 17.5 +56.3 Ideology SWhat Very Con Con 75.7 86.0 12.2 6.1 +63.5 +79.9

100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0%


Issue Econ. 73.1 17.2 +55.9 Moral 83.3 8.3 +75.0 Social 50.0 41.7 +8.3 Foreign Aff. 80.0 13.3 +66.7 Local 80.0 20.0 +60.0

Agree w/ Tea Party

73.8%
8.5% Attended 65.3% Not Attended

Do Not Agree Not Aware of

17.5% 4.5%

Mod 53.8 40.0 +13.8

Church Attendance Attend Rarely/ Regularly Never 73.1 77.6 17.5 14.5 +55.6 +63.2
Attend Regularly

How often do you attend church services?

100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0%

Sev. Times/Month

68.8%
45.3% Once/Wk 23.3% Sev/Wk 0.3% Ev. Day

Rarely Never

12.3%

13.5%

5.5%

Overall Attend Regularly Rarely Never 68.8 13.5 5.5

Mod 63.8 12.5 7.5

Ideology SWhat Very Con Con 65.2 73.2 14.8 12.8 7.0 3.9

Issue Econ. 68.3 14.5 4.8 Moral 83.3 5.6 8.3 Social 58.3 4.2 12.5 Foreign Aff. 60.0 26.7 0.0 Local 55.0 20.0 10.0

Tea Party Agree/ Agree/ Disagree Attend Not Attend 70.6 67.8 68.6 14.7 14.9 11.4 5.9 5.0 4.3

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SOUTH CAROLINA ON SOCIAL SECURITY

Do you favor or oppose reducing Social Security benefits for future retirees to help reduce the deficit?
100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0%
Ideology Overall Favor Oppose Net Fav 21.8 68.5 -46.8 Mod 21.3 72.5 -51.3 SWhat Con Very Con 16.5 72.2 -55.7 26.3 63.1 -36.9 Econ. 24.5 65.2 -40.7 Issue Moral 13.9 83.3 -69.4 Tea Party Agree/Not Agree/Attend Attend 35.3 24.5 50.0 -14.7 67.0 -42.5 Church Attendance Disagree 12.9 75.7 -62.9 Reg 18.9 72.4 -53.5 Rarely/Never 27.6 60.5 -32.9
21.8% 68.5%
Favor Oppose

8.8% SWhat 59.8% Strongly

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SOUTH CAROLINA ON MEDICARE

Do you favor or oppose reducing Medicare benefits to help reduce the deficit?
100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0%
Ideology Overall Favor Oppose Net Fav 20.8 70.5 -49.8 Mod 21.3 71.3 -50.0 SWhat Con Very Con 11.3 80.0 -68.7 27.9 62.6 -34.6 Econ. 21.0 69.7 -48.6 Issue Moral 22.2 66.7 -44.4 Tea Party Agree/Not Agree/Attend Attend 23.5 24.5 58.8 -35.3 67.0 -42.5 Church Attendance Disagree 11.4 80.0 -68.6 Reg 18.9 73.5 -54.5 Rarely/Never 22.4 65.8 -43.4
20.8% 70.5%
Favor Oppose

10.3% SWhat 60.3% Strongly

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SPENDING ALTERNATIVES
Which of the following would you prefer as a means to cut government spending and reduce the deficit?
100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% 39.8% 32.3% 19.3% 1.3% 0.8%
Eliminate Loopholes Cut Foreign Aid Reduce Involvement/Wars Cut Medicare Cut Social Security

Eliminate tax loopholes Cut foreign aid Reduce U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan Cut Medicare Cut Social Security
Ideology Issue

Overall
Eliminate Loopholes Cut Foreign Aid Reduce Involvement/Wars Cut Medicare Cut Social Security 39.8 32.3 19.3 1.3 0.8

Mod
47.5 17.5 28.8 1.3 1.3

SWhat Con Very Con


37.4 30.4 20.9 0.9 0.0 38.5 42.5 11.7 1.7 1.1

Econ
40.0 31.0 19.7 1.7 1.0

Moral
44.4 41.7 8.3 0.0 0.0

Tea Party Agree/Not Agree/Attend Attend 47.1 39.1 20.6 23.5 2.9 2.9 36.4 14.6 1.5 0.8

Church Attendance

Disagree
40.0 22.9 31.4 0.0 0.0

Reg
42.2 31.3 18.5 1.1 0.7

Rarely/Never
34.2 36.8 18.4 1.3 1.3

Overall Eliminate Loopholes Cut Foreign Aid Reduce Involvement/Wars Cut Medicare Cut Social Security 39.8 32.3 19.3 1.3 0.8

Cain 42.3 37.8 11.7 2.7 0.9

Romney 45.4 25.9 18.5 0.9 0.0

Perry 32.3 45.2 16.1 0.0 0.0

Gingrich 31.0 41.4 24.1 3.4 0.0

Paul 35.0 15.0 40.0 0.0 0.0

Bachmann 25.0 50.0 16.7 0.0 8.3

Huntsman 33.3 16.7 33.3 0.0 16.7

Santorum 20.0 20.0 40.0 0.0 0.0

Undec 39.7 28.2 23.1 0.0 0.0

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CHALLENGING CONVENTIONAL WISDOM

Which would you prefer as a means to decrease government spending : Cuts to Medicare benefits or Withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

8.5%

Cuts to Medicare
Net 65.0

Withdraw Troops

73.5%

6.0%

Cuts to Social Security


Net 67.5

Which would you prefer as a means to cut government spending and reduce the deficit: Cuts to Social Security benefits or Withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Withdraw Troops 73.5%

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0%

20%

40%

60%

80%

100%

ECONOMIC SECURITY INITIATIVES

The following is another list of potential initiatives to strengthen retirement security. Please tell me if you favor or oppose the reforms.
Tea Party Agree Issue Moral Very Con

Overall

Currently, seniors are mandated to withdraw from their retirement Favor savings at the age of 70 or they will face a stiff tax penalty. Would you Oppose favor or oppose allowing seniors to grow their nest eggs for an additional Net five years without facing this tax penalty?
Favor Oppose Net Favor

83.8 8.5 +75.3 84.0 10.3 +73.8 83.5 10.5 +73.0

83.4 8.5 +74.9 85.1 9.8 +75.3 84.4 11.2 +73.2

66.7 13.9 +52.8 86.1 11.1 +75.0 80.6 13.9 +66.7

86.0 5.6 +80.4 81.6 12.3 +69.3 82.7 13.4 +69.3

Creating a smart card for Medicare patients that will make it harder for criminals to commit fraud by stealing a seniors identity.

Establishing separate health courts for medical malpractice claims to help rein in costs and reduce frivolous lawsuits.

Oppose Net

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HEALTHCARE SECURITY INITIATIVES

Do you support or oppose the following ideas to increase the solvency of Medicare?

Overall

Tea Party Agree

Issue Moral

Very Con

Incentivizing doctors and hospitals to work together to reduce costly hospital readmissions.

Support Oppose Net

80.5 10.0 +70.5

81.4 10.2 +71.2

63.9 22.2 +41.7

77.1 12.8 +64.2

Adopting electronic medical records and other health care information technology to treat patients more efficiently and better track the care they need.

Support

Oppose
Net

72.5 14.3 +58.3

71.2 15.9 +55.3

55.6 25.0 +30.6

68.7 17.9 +50.8

Improving the coordination of care for patients with chronic conditions to cut down on unnecessary tests and procedures

Support Oppose Net

69.8 13.0 +56.8

69.8 12.5 +57.3

66.7 19.4 +47.2

66.5 12.3 +54.2

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THE RESEARCH

In addition to the South Carolina survey, GS Strategy Group conducted surveys of Republican caucus and primary voters in the following states:
IA Caucus Survey NH Primary Survey FL Primary Survey +200 FL Hispanic Oversample Oct. 17-18, 2011; 400N/4.90% Margin of Error Oct. 17-18, 2011; 400N/4.90% Margin of Error Oct. 18-19, 2011; 500N/4.38% Margin of Error Oct. 18-20, 2011; 200N/6.90% Margin of Error

STATE COMPARISONS

Iowa

New Hampshire

South Carolina

Florida

Overall
Mitt Romney Herman Cain Newt Gingrich Rick Perry Ron Paul Michele Bachmann Rick Santorum Jon Hunstman, Jr. Undecided 30.7 25.2 7.6 6.2 6.1 3.3 1.8 1.6 17.5 21.5 25.0 5.8 5.3 8.3 6.5 4.0 1.0 22.8 43.3 18.0 4.8 2.5 9.3 3.0 0.8 3.3 15.3 27.0 27.8 7.3 7.8 5.0 3.0 1.3 1.5 19.5 31.0 29.0 11.6 8.6 2.8 1.2 1.4 0.8 13.6

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STATE COMPARISONS
Iowa New Hampshire South Carolina Florida

Overall
AARP Membership 33.8 24.8 37.3 37.3 35.4

Percentage opposed to reducing Social Security benefits for future retirees to help reduce the deficit. Percentage who agrees: The strength and solvency of Social Security is essential to seniors economic security in retirement.

67.1

64.5

69.8

68.5

66.0

91.1

89.0

91.8

92.5

91.2

Percentage opposed to reducing Medicare benefits to help reduce the deficit. Percentage who agrees: The strength and solvency of Medicare is essential to seniors healthcare security in retirement.

70.2

67.3

72.5

70.5

70.4

90.1

87.0

91.8

92.3

89.4

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STATE COMPARISONS
Iowa

New Hampshire

South Carolina

Florida

Overall
Percentage who says Social Security benefits are or will be important to their monthly income in retirement Percentage Retired Mean Age 87.9 86.4 89.5 88.9 87.1

55.4 64.7

56.8 65.6

45.5 63.0

58.0 63.9

60.0 66.0

Percentage relying on Medicare for their current form of health insurance

43.4

50.0

34.3

44.3

44.8

Percentage Agrees with Tea Party & Attends Events Percentage Agrees with Tea Party & Does Not Attend Events

10.8

12.0

8.8

8.5

13.2

60.5

60.3

52.5

65.3

63.2

Percentage Attends Church Regularly

56.5

69.3

37.0

68.8

52.2

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