Middle class voters hold the key to victory for Mitt Romney come November, a new bipartisan poll appears to show.
The survey from Politico
and George Washington University shows the Republican challenger has a 14 percent lead over President Barack Obama among those who call themselves middle class.
And that could be crucia,l say Ed Goeas and Brian Nienaber, the two Republicans who helped conduct the poll.
“Romney has won the strong support of middle-class families and is leading the president on an overwhelming majority of key measurements,” the Republicans write in their analysis of the poll, which overall gave Obama a three percentage point — 50-47 — lead.
Goeas and Nienaber point out that ironically the only key issue that Obama leads among middle class voters is on the question of whether he or Romney best stands up for the middle class. The president has an eight-point lead on that question.
However Romney leads on questions on the economy, foreign policy, spending, taxes, Medicare, and jobs, they say.
The GOP duo say most voters will still decide their choice on “pocketbook issues,” saying, “The Romney camp should feel good going into the three presidential debates knowing he has majority support (Romney 53 percent/Obama 44 percent) from these economically focused voters.”
And they say that “even with all of the misleading partisan attacks” on vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s plans to reform Medicare, most seniors still select an economic issue over healthcare as their most important issue in the election.
“Presidential reelection races are almost always about the incumbent and whether or not they should be given an additional four years in office. This race looks to be no different. There is no sign of any good economic news on the horizon and two-thirds of the American electorate is focused on pocketbook issues as their top concern.”
The Democrats who helped with the poll — Celina Lake, Daniel Gotoff, and Kristin Pondel — see things considerably differently in their analysis of the data. “It is voters’ expanding expectations — both for the future of the country and the outcome of the Presidential race — that provide President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party some of the best news,” they say.
“Americans’ preference for Obama over Romney continues to grow, both in personal terms and on a range of issues central to their lives and the future of the country, including the economy, foreign policy, taxes, and the middle class,” they add.
Lake, Gotoff, and Pondel say Romney is now under fire from within his own party. “As the number of days left to change the trajectory of this election grows fewer and the prospects for the GOP increasingly bleak, the most withering criticism of Romney has come not from his opponents or the voters, but from Romney’s fellow Republicans.
“While the Presidential race is still likely to be close due to the composition of the electorate, the last month has produced critical shifts against Romney and for Obama. Romney’s problems go beyond his dismissal of 47% of Americans — many of whom pay a higher proportion of their income in taxes than Romney does.
“One can see why Republicans are becoming increasingly desperate,” the trio adds. “Their attempt to frame the race as a referendum on Obama has failed.
“Obama is personally popular (53% favorable, 46% unfavorable), especially in toss-up states (57% favorable, 42% unfavorable). Moreover, fully half of voters nationwide approve of the job he is doing as President (50% approve, 48% disapprove), with even higher ratings in toss-up states (55% approve, 44% disapprove). “
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