Photo: White House photo
There’s a new Washington Post/ABC News poll out this morning, and there is a lot of focus on the metric that President Barack Obama is more “likable” than his likely Republican challenger this election, Mitt Romney. Here’s why that doesn’t really matter at all: Voters trust Romney to handle the economy more than Obama, by four percentage points.
That said, Obama is winning the top line: He’s up 50 per cent to 41 per cent in a theoretical head-to-head matchup with Romney. And Obama does hold leads over Romney in almost every other key metric, but the fact that voters trust Romney by a 47 to 43 per cent advantage on the economy has to be troubling for the sitting president.
What is and likely will be the No. 1 issue with voters when they head to the polls this fall? It’s the economy, stupid. A March poll by Rasmussen found that 82 per cent of voters consider the economy to be a “very important issue” come November. It has been since 2007, but voters have lost some trust in Obama on the economy. A separate Rasmussen poll found that voters trust Republicans on the economy by an 11-point gap.
Another sign of trouble for Obama: Voters trust Romney to handle the ballooning federal budget deficit by 51 per cent to 38 per cent. And according to Gallup, that’s No. 3 among the issues this fall.
Now, in likability, Obama takes the cake. He beats Romney more than 2-to-1 with voters, who say he is more likable and friendly than his likely challenger. There is also a huge gap in the amount of people who think the president is more inspiring than Romney.
Here are good signs for Obama: double-digit leads in handling women’s issues, international affairs, protecting the middle class, and health care policy (despite the unpopularity of Obamacare).
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