Campaign season is officially here. Republicans running for president are traveling across the country to shake hands with voters, campaigns are shelling out millions of dollars on political ads, and right now, nearly every candidate has their eyes set on the second GOP presidential primary debate. On September 27, millions of voters will turn their attention to the Republican primary debate stage, and many Americans will have one question on their minds: Which candidates will commit to protecting Social Security?
Ahead of the 2024 presidential election, Social Security is one of the top issues for voters nationwide. Despite that fact, many Republicans running for president haven’t made it clear how they plan to protect the essential benefits millions of Americans rely on. In fact, the only candidate who talked about the issue during the first Republican primary debate was former Vice President Mike Pence, who has voiced his support for cuts to Social Security.
However, while former Vice President Pence was the only candidate to touch the subject on stage in August, his comments spurred other presidential hopefuls to address the issue after the debate. Recently, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley argued that the current retirement age is “way too low.” Governor Ron DeSantis quickly responded that raising the retirement age – a proposal that two-thirds of the country disapproves of – “is not going to happen.”
Despite the fact there’s some disagreement among Republican presidential candidates about Social Security, voters have made it loud and clear they won’t accept a nominee who supports cuts to the program. In fact, the numbers show Social Security will be top of mind for voters when they head to the ballot box. And it’s not hard to see why.
Today, more than 66 million people in our country receive monthly Social Security payments, and many of them rely on those checks to pay for gas, groceries, and rent. Those Americans are some of the most highly motivated voters in the country. Polling shows that Americans who rely on Social Security are some of the most likely voters to turn out on Election Day, and they’re more likely to cast their ballots for candidates who support plans to protect their benefits and oppose policy proposals like sunsetting Social Security or raising the retirement age.
The upcoming GOP primary debate is another chance for Republicans running for president to let voters watching from home know that they’ll protect Social Security – and they should take advantage of it.
The simple fact is that Social Security remains one of the most critical issues for a vast percentage of Americans. That means every Republican running for president must show voters they have a real plan to protect their benefits. With campaign season in full swing, Americans nationwide will be paying close attention to candidates’ plans for the program.