08/27/2012 07:55 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Mitt Romney's Positive Medicare Argument Polls Better Than $716 Billion Obama Attack

TAMPA, Fla. -- Republican pollster Whit Ayres ran reporters through some new numbers Monday morning on what was supposed to be the first day of the Republican convention.

One page that stood out from the survey (which you can read in its entirety here) was the question on Medicare.

It was a split question, so some of the respondents heard one Republican statement on Medicare reform, and others heard a different one. All of those surveyed heard the same Democratic position on Medicare -- that Republicans will "end Medicare as we know it" (you can read all this below).

Here's the interesting thing: The Republican talking point that focused in a proactive, positive way on how the party wants to "preserve and protect" Medicare polled significantly better than an alternate GOP talking point that attacked President Barack Obama for cutting $716 billion from Medicare.

The positive GOP position had a 45 percent to 40 percent advantage over the Democratic talking point, while the GOP attack on Obama was a percentage point lower than the Democratic position, 40 percent to 41 percent.

Ayres said that the differential showed that voters want to hear how Romney will fix the country. It's not enough for the candidate to attack Obama. But Ayres said he sees the attacks as an equalizer that tee up the positive position.

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Republican National Convention 2012