Poll: Majority of voters know enough about candidates
July 24th, 2012
12:46 PM ET
6 years ago

Poll: Majority of voters know enough about candidates

(CNN) – President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney are spending millions on television ads presenting their platforms, but a poll released Tuesday suggests most voters feel they know enough already about each man vying for the White House.

The Pew Research Center poll indicated 90% of registered voters nationwide already feel they know what they need to about Obama, who has been in office since January 2009. Sixty-nine percent say they know enough about Romney, who ran for the GOP nomination in 2008 and formally launched his 2012 campaign in June 2011.

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Those numbers compare to the 8% of registered voters who said they need to learn more about Obama, and the 28% who need to learn more about Romney.

Among that group who want to learn more about the presumptive GOP nominee, 41% said they wanted more information about his record as governor of Massachusetts, while 36% wanted information about his personal income tax returns and 35% wanted more information about his tenure as chief executive of Bain Capital.

All three of those issues have been targets of the Obama campaign, which has claimed at various points in the campaign that Romney shipped jobs overseas as a businessman, hurt jobs growth as governor, and concealed relevant information from voters by only releasing two years of income tax information.

When broken down, more Republican voters than Democrats say they want to learn more about Romney. Thirty four percent of Republicans say they need to learn more about the candidate, compared to 21% of Democrats who feel the same way. Three-in-ten independents want to learn more about Romney.

Democrats, however, are more likely to want to learn more about Romney's tax returns. Fifty-six percent said they wanted more tax information, compared to 35% of independents and 18% of Republicans.

Romney has released his tax return from 2010 and an estimate for 2011. He has vowed to release the full tax return from last year when it's finalized by his accountant. He requested a filing extension from the Internal Revenue Service in April.

The Pew Research Poll was conduced by telephone July 19-22 among 1,001 adults, including 798 registered voters. The sampling error was plus or minus 4 percentage points.

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Polls • President Obama
soundoff (106 Responses)
  1. rs1201

    why on earth would anyone want to keep obama in charge????? The stock market is down 145 pts today and there's no hope that there will be any recovery any time soon. Everyone's 401k is devastated, 8.2% unemployment, and that's probably just scratching the surface.
    obama...get the heck out of the White House and give someone else a chance at putting America back on track...you obviously don't know what you're doing...you and your wife just know how to go on expensive vacations at the American taxpayers' expense...get it through your heads...we're broke and we need someone to pick us up off the floor!!!

    July 24, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  2. cali girl

    What do we know about Robmey? Not much, except the duck and dodge on most of his information from his career at BAIN, his time as Governor, and Olympics and not to forget the tax returns.

    July 24, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  3. FORWARD into the Obama FISCAL ABYSS

    All I know is that the country cannot withstand another 4 more years of Obama. If I have to listen to another 4 more years of Bush blaming, finger pointing, excuses, excuses, excuses, class warfare rhetotic I think I will throw my TV out the window and go live in a cave. Obama has NO leadership skills, no economic savy. Only a braindead lefitst ideologue would want more Obama torture.

    July 24, 2012 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    Mittens has told you everything you need to know about himself: NOTHING.

    Want to know who Mittens is? Just tell him who you want him to be. The changeling has spent the past decade defining himself by his ambition to take his "turn" as POTUS and by taking whatever position is calculated to be the most politically expedient and convenient. He has no moral compass and no core beliefs and values: he merely says he does. Then, he goes on to talk alot, say almost nothing and never reveal anything.

    July 24, 2012 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  5. milan milenkovic

    After “ LOST DECADE ” for US economy (Bush Administration lost 8 million jobs and add $ 6,1 trillion on US National Debt??? Obama adm. add 4,4 million jobs during past 28 months), Pr. Obama is doing his best to move this country forward in right direction. Problems did NOT appear over night and can NOT be solved over night...I did NOT agree with everything what President did during last 3,5 years, but he has the best vision how to win the future for USA. My support to Pr. Obama re-election is my investment: what kind of FUTURE I want for this Country … My the biggest concerns right now are: unemployment, dysfunctional Congress , US economy and houses market depression…

    July 24, 2012 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  6. Expat American

    The country can ill afford a return to Bush and the Republicans’ policies…and if in fact, it is not Romney’s intention to revert back to said failings than what is his platform? Still waiting….

    July 24, 2012 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  7. Four and The Door

    cali girl
    What do we know about Robmey?
    He is a successful manager of large, complicated operations, he has strong values and lives by them, he has clear goals for the nation, plans to accomplish them and a proven capability both in the public and private sectors. Besides the fact that there will be a strong anti-Obama vote in the General Election, Mitt Romney is bringing a unique set of qualifications and capabilities to address the important issues for the nation right now. We are fortunate he is still interested in the job.

    July 24, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  8. Chipster

    @rs1201 Why? I will vote for President Obama and a Democratic congress because we can't afford to go back to borrow and spend policies of the Bush era. In Jan 2009, we had been losing 200,000 to 800,000 jobs per month ! We were fighting 2 wars (1 completely unnecessary) while cutting revenue by giving huge tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans. We've ended one war and winding down the other – Bush/Cheney planned permanent bases in Iraq. Veterans were barely receiving health care at all and practically no brain trauma attention. We are STILL paying for Bush's gift to pharmaceutical companies – banning Medicare from negotiating drug costs. We need a Democratic congress to help the President end that one. Veterans now have the body armor they need, decent medical care, jobs and education programs......NO! We cannot afford "trickle-down" economics. Why would seniors citizens, veterans, women, or middle class workers vote for a Republican.

    July 24, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  9. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    We don't know about Mitt's tax returns yet...

    Show us your papers, Mitt!!

    July 24, 2012 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  10. cali ha ha

    Wow. I guess Spain had nothing to do with the market drop, or moody downgrading countries . It must be nice to live in absolute land where facts don't matter

    July 24, 2012 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  11. Bmike

    Yeah Robmey message is keep on the attack..because if I stope they will get wise to me..ain't answer no questions just keep talking about the president day and night..don't worry about Bain that's my business..don't worry about my taxes cause I'm a crook.....don't worry about my years in government in Mass..just go on my word i can fix anything wrong with the country...I got all the answer..if you believe that I'll sell you a midget in brooklyn...

    July 24, 2012 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  12. Chipster

    Who is Willard Romney? It was said that Bush was "all hat and no cattle." Mitt is the same as Bush – without the hat. There is no "there" there. He doesn't seem to have any idea who he is or what he stands for but he never wants to take responsibility for anything he does. "Retroactively Retired?" What the heck is that?

    July 24, 2012 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  13. Woman In California

    Willard was quite the conversation this morning. Between his unwillingness to sacrifice himself and at least one of his "extremely able" son' s volunteering to serve their country, along with his refusal to let the American people see his tax returns, are signs of how much this unAmerican coward is clearly not presidential material.
    Remember: (Abraham was willing to sacrifice his only son even after waiting 100 years), and both William and Harry have volunteered for their country also, but this selfish, draft dodging, liar thinks IT IS HIS TIME and has the nerve to want YOUR vote. I conclude there is nothing to low for a Romney.

    July 24, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  14. Darryl

    We have heard enough and we know all we need to know. The recession is over, the economy is comming back,the wars are over,there are no threats, Osama Biladin is dead, and the president is doing just fine and the people support him and we will re-elect him in November. So yes, we have heard enough and Mitt Romney can just go back to Wallstreet and do his secret stuff with that and the Olympics like he does so well, and lets all MOVE ON !

    July 24, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  15. Bmike

    Thanks to the congress for not passing anything pretaining to jobs..a president can't do it alone congress has input also they pretty much care about themselves...anybody with common sense knows it's gonna take time to turn this mess around that the republican party got us into...Now if you go ahead and vote Robmey in office it will be more of the same a continuation of Bush's policies..Robmey just another pawn for the likes of the tea party nuts...big interest groups.. maybe even outside groups...America wise up.....

    July 24, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  16. Jayson

    So there is a 21% gap between Romney and Obama and the voters supposedly know enough. That line of reasoning is why so much news is just plain crap....

    Oh and just because voters think they know enough doesn't mean they do. Otherwise we wouldn't elect such a large number of candidates over and over.......

    July 24, 2012 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  17. sbssue1

    If he gave you all of the data you want plus some, you still would only know what the news media wants you to know. Could you comprehend what it all means? I really doubt it. Quit being negative and state what can be done to fix our problems.

    July 24, 2012 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  18. TimC

    So instead of giving us more info we don't think we need, how about giving some coverage to the other candidate who's on the ballot in all 50 states – Libertarian Gary Johnson? On sites asking only about issues, he's beating Romney and about even with Obama.

    Come on CNN, quit excluding Gov Gary Johnson.

    July 24, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  19. sbssue1

    Woman in California...........the bankrupt state...............................they know how to fix things and bring our country back. Stand in line for handouts is the name of the game in most folks' view. Bankrupt the country just like CA.

    July 24, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  20. Bmike

    All of you out their that want this country to succeed...All you democrats out their stay on your game...get out the vote for Obama he needs you now more than ever...Our rights are in jepordy here...they are trying to turn things back the way it was 50 years ago...don't let em....Moving Forward for a better America....Obama 2012

    July 24, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  21. sbssue1

    Give me this, give me that....take from the rich, give to the poor, we the people have had enough. Why do I have to pay for you people who want to stand in line and take, take, take?

    July 24, 2012 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  22. Like-able..vs..Capable....

    Obama's-ad putting Romney down while singing-off key...reversed my liking for Obama and now we not only find Romney..."Capable..but Romney is fast becoming Like-able_Romney...." Come November 6, 2012 the choice is clear....

    July 24, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  23. Rudy NYC

    Four and The Door wrote:

    He is a successful manager of large, complicated operations, he has strong values and lives by them, he has clear goals for the nation, plans to accomplish them and a proven capability both in the public and private sectors. ....
    Hokey religions are no match for actual facts at your side. You recite that stuff every day, and everyone except for the right wing knows that it is solipsistic dogma. It used to be a good talking point, but now it comes across as cult mania.

    Romney is not running on his record in the public sector. In fact, he's running from it. His public record doesn't fit the image he wants to project of his private sector record. The Olympics were bailed out on government money. He doesn't talk about being Gov. of MA, but the Obama campaign will in the fall.

    July 24, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  24. v_mag

    If you know anything about George W. Bush, you know everything you need to know about Mittler Rob-money.

    July 24, 2012 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    "Why do I have to pay for you people who want to stand in line and take, take, take?"

    Given the FACTS that middle-class wages have remained stagnant for 4 decades, failed to keep up with inflation, while the middle-class's share of the nation's wealth has dwindled and the extremely wealthy have grown their share of the nation's wealth, income and assets exponentially....the REALITY is that it's not the poor and middle-class who are "taking" anything. The real "takers" are the extremely wealthy. They've been taking and stockpiling it ALL for the past several decades and they are currently sitting on it while everyone else goes broke.

    July 24, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
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