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Social Security Poll - July 2000
July 14, 2000
Poll Results | Poll Methodology | Story

QUESTION: If a $2 trillion federal surplus in non-Social Security funds materializes over the next 10 years, as some have projected, which of the following do you think Congress should give top priority? (ORDER ROTATED)

  • Return the money to taxpayers through a tax cut.
  • Use the money to reduce the national debt.
  • Invest the money to increase the Social Security and Medicare funds.
  • Spend the money to increase spending on education and other federal programs?

Option State Men Women
Invest in Social Security 36% 24% 48%
Tax cut 34% 43% 25%
Reduce national debt 18% 23% 13%
Spend on programs 8% 5% 11%
Other/Don't Know 4% 5% 3%

QUESTION: How concerned are you about the financial stability of the Social Security system when it comes time for you to retire? Are you very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned, or not at all concerned?

Option State Men Women
Very 38% 36% 40%
Somewhat 34% 34% 34%
Not 24% 27% 21%
Not sure 4% 3% 5%

QUESTION: Many people are concerned about the ability of the Social Security system to provide well enough for people's retirement in the coming years. Which of the following four ideas do you think is the best way to address these concerns? (ORDER ROTATED)

  • Allow workers to put some of the money now collected for Social Security into private retirement investments, like the stock market, instead.
  • Require the federal government to appropriate additional money to match part of a person's own private retirement investments.
  • Continue gradually raising the retirement age to be eligible for full Social Security benefits.
  • Provide a means test, so that wealthier retirees would receive lower Social Security benefits than others.

Option State Men Women
Allow investment 43% 49% 37%
Require fed match 21% 19% 23%
Means test 20% 20% 20%
Raise age 6% 5% 7%
Other/Don't Know 10% 7% 13%

The Mason-Dixon Minnesota Poll was conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, Inc. of Washington, D.C. from July 6 through July 8, 2000. A total of 620 registered Minnesota voters were interviewed statewide by telephone. All stated they regularly vote in state elections.

Those interviewed were selected by the random variation of the last four digits of telephone numbers. A cross-section of exchanges were utilized in order to ensure an accurate reflection of the state. Quotas were assigned to reflect voter turn-out county.

The margin for error, according to standards customarily used by statisticians, is no more than plus or minus four percentage points. This means that there is a 95 percent probability that the "true" figure would fall within that range if the entire population were sampled. The margin for error is higher for any subgroup, such as a regional or gender grouping.

This survey also includes and over-sampling of 304 likely Democratic primary voters statewide. This over-sampling was only on the questions related to the Democratic primary election, and not on those regarding the general election. The margin for error on the Democratic primary sample is plus or minus six percent.

Sample Figures:
Men 304 (49%)
Women 316 (51%)

Region Interviews
Minneapolis/St. Paul 346 interviews
Rochester/Southeast 72 interviews
Southwest Minnesota 64 interviews
Northwest Minnesota 67 interviews
Duluth/Northeast 71 interviews

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Poll Copyright 2000, Mason-Dixon Political/Media Research, Inc. All Rights Reserved