Child advocacy group says Iowa GOP caucus-goers more likely to back cuts in kids’ programs

Republicans planning to attend the 2012 Iowa Caucuses are more likely to support cuts in children’s programs than general election swing voters, which should be a caution to GOP presidential candidates, according to a Washington-based advocacy group.

A statewide poll of 629 Iowans released Wednesday shows Republican candidates risk alienating swing voters in Iowa if they fail to support children’s programs, said Michael Petit, president of the Every Child Matters Education Fund.

“This poll shows clearly that Iowa voters are concerned about the future of their children and want more, not fewer, federal investments in their children,” Petit said.

Casey Mills, a spokesman for the Iowa Republican Party, was skeptical of the findings.

“I would say the 2010 general election speaks in direct contradiction to those results,” Mills said. He noted that Gov. Terry Branstad, a Republican, was elected last November on a agenda of returning Iowa to national prominence as an education leader.

The Every Child Matters Education Fund commissioned Mason-Dixon Polling and Research, which interviewed a random sample of 400 likely general election voters statewide and an oversample of 229 likely Republican caucus goers. The survey was conducted July 5th through 7th.

On the question of protecting children’s programs from cuts, 66 percent of voters overall and 70 percent of general election swing voters believe programs that promote and protect the health, education and safety of children should be protected from any cuts, the survey found. But just 28 percent of likely GOP caucus-goers agree that such programs should be protected from any cuts.

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