However, political observers say the tide is shifting with both major presidential candidates in 2016 pledging not to cut Social Security and one proposing a small expansion. Details are slim at the moment, but that could change heading into the fall.
“Both campaigns are still in the process of figuring out what they want to say,” notes Stephen Farnsworth, a professor of political science at the University of Mary Washington. “Perhaps as we get into the debates there will be more discussion.”
Her support of a program expansion could also have an impact on undecided voters. “If Hillary Clinton does emphasize Social Security, that might be an opportunity to win over some older voters,” Farnsworth says.
Regardless of who wins, “it seems like Social Security gridlock is what we’ll see,” Farnsworth says.