creators.com opinion web
Liberal Opinion Conservative Opinion
Scott Rasmussen
Scott Rasmussen
28 Aug 2015
Presidential Nominating Process Highlights Gap Between D.C. and America

To many in Washington, there's little question that the 2016 presidential election should feature a dynasty … Read More.

21 Aug 2015
Time To Shorten the Presidential Campaign Season

In mid-August, Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post provided further evidence of how our political system is … Read More.

14 Aug 2015
What's Scarier: Trump-Sanders or Bush-Clinton?

It's been amusing in recent weeks to watch Washington pundits grappling with Trumpmania and the surge of … Read More.

Bain Attacks Fail to Shake Up Presidential Race

Comment

Over the past few weeks, President Obama and his campaign team have launched a furious attack on Mitt Romney's record as head of Bain Capital, a highly successful venture capital firm.

There is clear evidence that the attacks have had some impact. Forty-one percent of voters now see Romney's record in the private sector primarily as a reason to vote for him, but an equal number see that record as a reason to vote against the GOP challenger. That negative perception is up 8 points over the past couple of months.

Yet while raising negative perceptions of Romney's record in business, the Bain attacks have failed to bring about any change in the overall race for the White House. For weeks, the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll has shown the president's support stuck between 44 percent and 46 percent every day. Romney's numbers are in a similar rut — 44 percent to 47 percent.

One reason for the lack of impact is that the Bain attacks have not reached a point where they raise doubts about Romney's character. Sixty-seven percent of voters believe the former governor of Massachusetts is at least as ethical as most politicians. Comparing Romney to other politicians may not be setting the bar very high, but that's his peer group these days. Using the same standard, the president doesn't measure up quite as well: Just 60 percent believe he is at least as ethical as most politicians.

Perhaps even more important, though, is that voters are trying to look forward rather than back. Regardless of what Romney did in his private sector past, voters have come to see a clear distinction between the candidates on the trade-offs between economic growth and economic fairness.

It's not a distinction about a laundry list of issues or a particular legislative strategy; it's a distinction about the role the government should play in the economy.

Voters overwhelmingly think it's important to create an environment that encourages economic growth. Nearly as many believe it's important for the government to create an environment that ensures economic fairness. But if there's a choice to be made, voters have a very strong preference for making growth the priority. Sixty-two percent of voters hold that view, while just 30 percent think using government to ensure fairness is more important.

Republicans and unaffiliated voters see growth as more important. Democrats are evenly divided.

That's a perspective that puts the president squarely on the defensive. Most voters believe Obama places a higher value on ensuring economic fairness. Two-thirds think Romney shares the public priority placing economic growth at the top of the list.

Adding to the incumbent's political challenge is the fact that just 19 percent of unaffiliated voters think the president is committed to emphasizing growth over fairness.

The president's attacks on Romney's time at Bain Capital have succeeded in raising some doubts about the challenger, but by highlighting his role as a venture capitalist, the attacks also have reinforced the belief that Romney sees economic growth as his top priority. There is nothing better for the challenger than a race where he is seen as the candidate of economic growth.

To find out more about Scott Rasmussen, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2012 SCOTT RASMUSSEN

DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM



Comments

0 Comments | Post Comment
Already have an account? Log in.
New Account  
Your Name:
Your E-mail:
Your Password:
Confirm Your Password:

Please allow a few minutes for your comment to be posted.

Enter the numbers to the right:  
Creators.com comments policy
More
Scott Rasmussen
Aug. `15
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
26 27 28 29 30 31 1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31 1 2 3 4 5
About the author About the author
Write the author Write the author
Printer friendly format Printer friendly format
Email to friend Email to friend
View by Month
Marc Dion
Marc DionUpdated 31 Aug 2015
Mark Shields
Mark ShieldsUpdated 29 Aug 2015
diane dimond
Diane DimondUpdated 29 Aug 2015

17 Aug 2012 Reaction to Ryan: Gap Between Mainstream America and Official Washington

17 Jan 2014 Time for Washington to Speak the Language of the American People

19 Sep 2013 Political Class Consciously Choosing to Serve Wall Street, not Main Street