WASHINGTON – Despite concerted Democratic attacks on his business record, Republican challenger Mitt Romney scores a significant advantage over President Obama when it comes to managing the economy, reducing the federal budget deficit and creating jobs, a national USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds.Continue reading.
By more than 2-1, 63%-29%, those surveyed say Romney's background in business, including his tenure at the private equity firm Bain Capital, would cause him to make good decisions, not bad ones, in dealing with the nation's economic problems over the next four years.
The findings raise questions about Obama's strategy of targeting Bain's record in outsourcing jobs and hammering Romney for refusing to commit to releasing more than two years of his tax returns. Instead, Americans seem focused on the economy, where disappointment with the fragile recovery and the 8.2% unemployment rate are costing the president.
To be sure, Obama retains significant advantages of his own. By 2-1, he's rated as more likable than Romney. By double digits, those surveyed say the president better understands the problems Americans face in their daily lives. He has an 8-percentage-point advantage on being seen as honest and trustworthy.
However, Romney has the edge when it comes to being able to "get things done," and the broad landscape seems tilted in his favor...
Republicans and independents are more enthusiastic about the election by 18 points, and 61 percent say the government is taking too activist a role in the economy, "trying to do too many things that should be left to individuals and businesses." And the Obama-Democrat attacks on Romney's business experience have had virtually no effect on the public's perception of the candidate's leadership qualities.
As always, though, what matters most is what's happening around the battleground states, and all signs point to a close election.
More on that from Nate Silver, "July 23: Is Minnesota a Battleground Again?"