Half of Iowans (49 percent) oppose private accounts when simply asked about the option to invest some of their Social Security contributions. Forty-three percent favor private accounts and 8 percent don't know where they stand on this issue. However, when consequences of private accounts are introduced, support for private accounts decreases greatly. Between 37 percent and 51 percent of people who initially favored private accounts ended up opposed to private accounts when presented with some consequences. As a result, exposure to any of the consequences presented increased the initial 49 percent of respondent opposition to private accounts to a substantial majority (between 64 percent and 71 percent total opposition depending on the consequence presented).
Telephone interviews of 710 randomly selected Iowa residents age 18 and up were conducted between April 1st and 7th, 2005 by Woelfel Research, Inc., a national survey research firm. Further information about the survey may be obtained by contacting Dr. Love at 202-434-6279. (16 pages)