Brutal judgments of Romney on who he’d help

The presidential race continues to look bad for Mitt Romney.

After the Democratic National Convention and then the tape showing Romney’s disdain for people who don’t pay federal income tax right now, a gap is evident and increasing – both in national polls and in battleground states.

And while his declining position vis a vis Obama can be understood in various ways, one involves people’s assessments of who he’d help and his connection to the average voter.

Here’s data from three key battleground on who Romney’s and Obama’s policies will favor:

Between 56-59% of people in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania think Romney’s policies will favor the rich, compared to 7-9% saying the same for Obama.

And here’s data on whether the candidate cares about “your needs and problems.”

Obama is seen as more caring, with agreement from 57-60% of likely voters, compared to 38-41% of likely voters assessing Romney.

While the “47%” comments isn’t the only reason why Romney and his policies are evaluated this way, they sure haven’t helped.

Some of the people included in this poll were interviewed.  Here’s an Ohioan:

“This last thing, where he was going on about the 47 percent who are dependent on government, is hard to swallow,” said Kenneth Myers, a Republican who lives in Mansfield and is unemployed. “I think I’m part of the 47 percent he is talking about. But I don’t want to be dependent on the government.”

And here’s a report about a Floridian included in the poll:

Sharon Whalen, 56, a former travel agent from Dade City who said she and her husband voted for Senator John McCain of Arizona, the Republican nominee, in 2008, said she had developed “a very bad impression of Romney.” She said she intended to support Mr. Obama and was troubled by the Republican ticket’s plan for Medicare.

“There’s just something about him I don’t trust,” said Ms. Whalen, a poll respondent who spoke in a follow-up interview. “It’s not so much that I don’t believe what he is saying, but I just don’t think he’s for the middle and lower class. He’s more for helping the rich.”

These sorts of impressions are hard to shake and bode poorly for Romney being able to gain these voters’ support.

And here’s another ad from the Obama campaign that’s likely to reinforce those views of Romney.


Amy Fried

About Amy Fried

Amy Fried loves Maine's sense of community and the wonderful mix of culture and outdoor recreation. She loves politics in three ways: as an analytical political scientist, a devoted political junkie and a citizen who believes politics matters for people's lives. Fried is Professor of Political Science at the University of Maine. Her views do not reflect those of her employer or any group to which she belongs.