Two new polls show that President Barack Obama’s attacks on Mitt Romney’s business career and personal wealth are weakening his economic standing with voters. But overall, voters still trust Romney over Obama on handling the economy and the unemployment situation as president. The Obama campaign has ramped up its attacks recently on Romney’s career as CEO of Bain Capital and renewed calls for the presumptive Republican nominee to release his tax returns.
The Reuters poll and a new Public Policy Polling survey showed that this strategy is cutting into Romney’s favorability ratings and causing Americans to rethink their vote for him. Of voters that had been aware of something regarding Romney’s tax returns or Bain Capital in the previous week, they viewed him much less favourably.
On tax returns, 37 per cent of voters overall said they viewed him less favourably after hearing something about his tax returns. Only 17 per cent said they viewed him more favourably. Among Independents, 30 per cent viewed him less favourably. 70 per cent of registered voters said candidates should release their tax returns.
The Bain Capital debate provided a similar split, with 36 per cent of voters — 26 per cent of Independents — viewing him less favourably because of his experience running the company, compared with just 18 per cent that viewed him more favourably.
The Public Policy Polling survey also showed that Mitt Romney’s “work at Bain Capital” caused 40 per cent of voters to say they’d be less likely to vote for him, compared with 17 per cent that said it would make them more likely. Among Independents, the split was 41-14 negative.
Still, a new Gallup/USA Today poll found Monday that voters still think Romney’s business experience would help him make better decisions as president. 60-three per cent said his business background, “including Bain Capital,” would cause him to “make good decisions,” compared with 29 per cent that said it would cause him to make bad decisions.
But the Reuters poll should worry the Romney campaign because of the hit the Obama attacks are having with Independent voters. On the economy, 22 per cent of Independents trust Obama on handling the economy, compared with 19 per cent for Romney. And they are evenly split on who to trust on jobs and employment.
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