Poll: Majority of voters know enough about candidates
July 24th, 2012
12:46 PM ET
2 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. California Gary

    Romney has been running for POTUS since 2008........the fact that we still don't really know who he is, speaks volumes. He changes what he says, what he believes, and who he is at the drop of a hat.......how can this man be trusted?

    July 24, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  2. once upon a horse

    I agree I know enough about Mitt Romney to know I don't want him in the White House.

    July 24, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  3. NFL1

    Why did he get a tax filing extension? When will his accountant be finished (is there THAT much cleaning up needed?)... it's almost August...will he say in November that it's still not done? I guess that accountant is NOT doing his job, eh?

    July 24, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  4. Ex Republican

    Romney didnt tell us about swiss accounts and bumuda accounts. Mitt dont want to show his taxes for 10 years.
    Romney is the biggest flip flopper and liar.

    July 24, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  5. Four and The Door

    Rudy NYC
    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.
    _____________________________________________________________________________________________
    Mitt Romney was very successful as Governor of Massachusetts. Through a combination of reduced spending and increased fees, he changed a projected $1.5 billion deficit into a $700 million surplus for the state. He enacted the nation's fist universal health care system and he did this all in a bipartisan fashion. What we do not need in Washington are more excuses and more of the political games that Obama has delivered. Mitt Romney will get the federal government back in the mode of serving the nation instead of the politician.

    July 24, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  6. Wake up people

    I still want to see those taxes. And I am sick of these phony polls.

    OBAMA 2012!

    July 24, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  7. b

    only liberals care about romney's taxes. they have no effect on anything. its really a bizarre request. if they really care about a persons tax returns, they should have the law changed to require more years of returns. its a non issue so they would never bother. for the life of me i don't know why they think it matters to anyone.

    July 24, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  8. ge

    there are many mitt romneys-which one should we get to know first,A,B,C,D,-----------------

    July 24, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  9. diane

    I still having trouble getting past the bullying he did as a rich kid. Rich kids learn a different set of values that do not include understanding what regular people have to put up with. The faces of those people who lost everything when Romney and his ilk close down their factories and the picture of Romney on his yacht, his car elevators and his many homes and multiple cars he has lost count of, simply make me cringe. Even If I did not like president Obama, I would vote for anybody who is not Romney. Santorum would have made me consider him.

    July 24, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  10. b

    of all the issues that would effect our country, the tax retruns of someone have no baring. so what if you know that he made billions and he has money mangers that take care of it. if you won the lotery, the first sensible thing you do is get a lawyer and a financial advisor. and you let them handle your finances. if romney had all his money in 1 bank in the USA, i would think he is to dumb to be president. the fact that he has money mangers lets me know he's smart.

    July 24, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  11. Wake up people

    It sure is funny that all of a sudden we know all we need to know, but that wasn't good enough when it came to President Obama's lousy birth certificate. But now that the truth is finally coming out about Robmey hiding money and lying to the SEC, now we have enough. Hypocrisy and mendacity at it's best or worst....

    OBAMA 2012!

    Show us those taxes Robmey!

    July 24, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  12. v_mag

    A poor guy takes a bus to the food pantry and gets some free cheese and a can of peas – It's called welfare.

    A rich guy contributes to a congressman who writes favorable legislation so that he can have a giant tax loophole – It's called free speech.

    The rich guy will cost you more than the poor guy every time.

    July 24, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC

    sniffit wrote:

    "...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. ..."
    -----------------
    Herman Cain alluded to this fact with his disturbing warning of things to come.
    "If you're not rich by now, then it's your own fault."

    July 24, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  14. Four and The Door

    b
    only liberals care about romney's taxes. they have no effect on anything. its really a bizarre request. if they really care about a persons tax returns, they should have the law changed to require more years of returns. its a non issue so they would never bother. for the life of me i don't know why they think it matters to anyone.
    __________________________________________________________________________________________
    The Democrats only whine about wanting more of Mitt Romney's tax returns because if the conversation is about the economy, jobs, national debt or a plan forward, Obama loses. By trying to fabricate other issues they believe there may be a chance for Obama in November. Otherwise, what happens? They throw in the towel in July? No, it's more fun to blow $1 billion on the way out. I guess.

    July 24, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  15. Really?

    @wake up people – I still want to see those college transcripts and I'm sick of that phony birth certifi cate.
    Actually, I could care less about either. I already know Obama is trying to further the socialist and one wor ld government totali taria and the only thing that will save us is Christ. As a matter of fact, that's why I don't worry about O but I will definitely vote against him.

    July 24, 2012 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  16. 23 from Texas

    Pointless poll alert!!! This poll only used adults. Not likely voters! If you are doing a political poll and don’t even use registered voters it doesn’t matter! Here are the values assigned to each class of polling subject. People polled, is bad, you never want a political poll that just uses people. Adults, while better then just people, it still does not matter! These people will most likely not make their voice heard by being involved politically. Next is voters, better, but still useless! Less then half of registered voters actually vote even in an election year! The only polling subject that matters on political subjects is LIKELY VOTERS. I have yet to see a CNN poll this election year that used 100% likely voters! Give us real news CNN! Regions vary greatly, was this poll done up northeast where primarily liberals live? Or southwest where the Conservatives live? We want to know what is really going on, but until you give us a real poll, we will have to get our real data from other sources. (Rasmussen or Gallup)

    July 24, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    Four and The Door wrote:

    Mitt Romney was very successful as Governor of Massachusetts. Through a combination of reduced spending and increased fees, he changed a projected $1.5 billion deficit into a $700 million surplus for the state. He enacted the nation's fist universal health care system and he did this all in a bipartisan fashion. .......
    -----------------
    That depends upon your measure of success. Mitt Romney balanced the budget on the backs of the middle class through his increased fees. If his record as Governer is so great, then why is he not running on it? Because his record has a major flaw. He dealt out tax cuts for the wealthy and large businesses as jobs left the state. At the same time, he effective enacted a tax increase on the poor and middle class through his increased fees.

    Gov. Cuomo is performing similar balancing acts, here in New York. For example, the cost to renew my auto registration has tripled, and ditto for a driver's license. Meanwhile, neccessity has forced him to cut aid to local municipalities, forcing them to enact significant property tax increases or dramatically cut back on essential services.

    July 24, 2012 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  18. Really?

    @ v_mag – the rich guy is smart enough to figure out a way to keep the money he earned from the politicians who want to take it so they can keep freeloaders on welfare, get the freeloader's vote and keep living high on the hog on their own freeloading lifestyles. Have Sniffit take a sniff of this, also; that is if CNN will be kind enough to post it.

    July 24, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  19. Ms K.

    @rs1201 you don't even have a 401K plan to comment on the stock market ...because if you did you are very happy that the stock market is not at 6000 pts when Bush was in office...
    @four and the door...can you please post Mitt's ideas and plans because I sure want to know them...vaules are not enough ans i'm sure do not want a president that may ship my job overseas....his claim to fame

    July 24, 2012 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  20. Rudy NYC

    Four and The Door wrote:

    ...The Democrats only whine about wanting more of Mitt Romney's tax returns because if the conversation is about the economy, jobs, national debt or a plan forward, Obama loses. By trying to fabricate other issues they believe there may be a chance for Obama in November....
    --------------------
    Mitt Romney is the one who invited his primary opponents to look at his record. It was Romney's primary opponents who brought all of this light. It has been Romney who has not defended himself against the attacks, probably because he cannot defend himself.

    Mitt Romney is the one who resisted the challenge from his primary opponents to release *any* tax returns. One would have thought that Romney was prepared to release returns back in 2008, apparently not. He won't even release those now.

    Mitt Romney is stuck between his own words and his own words. And now conservatives are trying to hide their buyer's remorse with bluster. How does Romney plan to make his $500 billion in new annual debt go away?

    July 24, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  21. Thinks2010

    What I know is that there are two smart men running for the office of President who have proven themselves to be mediocre at best when in office and a House and Senate full of members and candidates whose sole focus is on staying in office and retaining or growing their power. They are all (or nearly all) so focused on themselves that they are incapable of acting in the best interests of the country as a whole and are currently doing more damage than good. Sadly, both parties have managed to polarize the population with their posturing and mudslinging. Since our so-called leaders are leading us over a cliff, it is up to the rest of us to set aside the largely politically manufactured differences that are dividing us and start focusing on our common good and how we can work together to achieve the necessary and the great things of which we are capable. If our so-called leaders can't or won't do so, we need to ignore than and leave them behind and get on with the important work of reunifying and rebuilding this great country.

    July 24, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  22. Really?

    @ Diane – are you serious? He was a kid and he said apologized fro what he did. And you were a perfect kid?
    If you would do some honest research you will find out that Romney and his church affiliation contribute millions to help people. He is hardly the evil character liberals try to make him out to be. Now, while your at it research some of the characters Obama hung with.

    July 24, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    "increased fees,"

    REGRESSIVE. This hurts the poor and middle-class more than anyone else. It also hurts small businesses more than large businesses. Mittens's signature revenue raising effort was signed in the blood of the middle-class.

    July 24, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  24. cali girl

    Four, other things that Robmey said he would do:
    Take on the Ryan Economic Plan specifically for the deep cuts to defense and kill Medicare
    Cutting funds to Planned Parenthood and still has not said if he is pro choice or pro life, since 2005 he changes his mind depending on who he is talking to
    Forget the poor and middle class
    No plans for immigration or healthcare (funny enough it is almost word for word to the ACA he wants to repeal)
    No help for homeowners, college tuition, doesn't know who Lilly Ledbetter is and does not support equal pay act.

    July 24, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  25. Debby

    Well the Dems. are voting Romney so its not important. Romney will draw independents in this coming election.

    July 24, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
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