GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s comments that the 47 percent of Americans supporting President Barack Obama are “dependent on government” and believe they are “victims” is getting a negative response from voters and could affect his chances in the fall.
A new one-night USA Today/Gallup poll
conducted Sept. 18 among 885 registered voters found that 36 percent said it made them less likely to vote for Romney while 20 percent said it would make them more likely to vote for the former Massachusetts governor. Some 43 percent said it wouldn’t make a difference.
The comments were made at a fundraiser and secretly recorded. The comments are unlikely to have much effect on Democrats or Republicans but could with independents, Gallup noted. However, the poll found that 29 percent of independents were less likely to vote for Romney compared to 15 percent who said it made them more likely.
Among households with an income under $24,000, 42 percent said the comments made them less likely to vote for Romney while households making more than $90,000 are split with 28 percent saying less likely and 24 percent more likely.
“The immediate impact of Romney's comments appears to be more negative than positive, which suggests that the comments could hurt Romney's ultimate chances of winning the election,” writes Gallup Editor-in-Chief Frank Newport. “Still, the long-term impact of any news event that flares up in the heat of a presidential campaign is difficult to determine.
“This is particularly true in today's more polarized news environment in which audiences of conservative-oriented vs. liberal-oriented media outlets are likely to hear quite different interpretations of the flap, and from different commentators. Regardless, both campaigns will clearly be heavily spinning the story in the days ahead.”
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