A huge racial gap has opened up between President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney as the two men go into the vital last six weeks of their election battle.
Obama has the support of one-in-three whites when questioned which man would be better at fixing the economy, CNBC
’s quarterly poll on the economy found.
But 93 percent of African-Americans and 64 percent of Latinos put their faith in the president, giving him a significant 9 percentage-point lead overall.
The survey — which CNBC calls a “scientific poll of 802 randomly chosen adults, including 201 who only have a cellphone" — found that more than half of all adults believe the economy is in worse shape now than it was when Obama entered the White House.
Despite that, 43 percent believe he is the man who can put the economy back on track, with just 34 percent favoring Romney and 22 percent admitting they don’t know who would be better.
“That’s a pretty profound gap between what people said happened in the past four years and who people believe will improve the economy,’’ said Republican pollster Bill McInturff who conducted the poll along with Democrat Peter Hart.
And it is not only the economy that has gone downhill in Obama’s first term in office, the CNBC poll found. By a near two-to-one margin — 44 percent to 23 percent — those polled said healthcare is also worse.
However Obama leads in seven of eight categories when asked which candidate would be better. Romney wins only when it comes to dealing with the budget deficit.
Jay Campbell who works for Hart’s Democratic team said, “The point that would make me nervous if I were Romney is, given all that downbeat negative data, I, as a candidate, should be up substantially. I have the business background. But I’m not seeing all that translate into people thinking I can do better and it’s not translating into an advantage in the ballot box.”
Other findings from the poll include:
• 46 percent say they would rather hang out with Obama at the weekend, with only 18 percent saying they would prefer to be with Romney and 30 percent saying they wouldn’t want to be around either;
• Romney’s investment skills are rated far more highly than Obama’s with 42 percent saying they would prefer him to look after their money and only 24 percent saying they would choose Obama for the job;
• Just 10 percent say the economy is in “good” or “excellent” shape with 53 percent calling it “poor;”
• 27 percent — the highest figure in five years — believe the value of their home will increase in the next year.
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