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. Really?

    @Rudy NYC – to answer that last question of yours, for starters, by aborting Obamacare; the only type of abortion I support.

    July 24, 2012 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    "I still want to see those college transcripts and I'm sick of that phony birth certifi cate."

    And I'd like to see YOUR mental health records and anti-psychotic prscriptions.

    July 24, 2012 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  3. Wake up people

    @really. Considering President Obama and all recent candidates have shown multiple years returns and Mittens hasn't should be a red flag to all. I didn't know showing college transcripts was a requirement. How many other candidates have been required to do this?? Even if it is, ball is in Mittens court now. He shows all tax returns from 99 til now, his long form birth certificate and his college transcripts. What are you hiding Robmey??

    OBAMA 2012!

    July 24, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  4. Ms K.

    @four and the door
    I guess the 2 wars, tax cuts for the wealthy, Medicare doughnut hole cuts (all not paid for) thanks to bush doesn't mean anything? the deficient exploded once those line items were put on the books along with other governmental commitments/laws passed.....But as Cheney stated ...deficient don't count; they will pay for themselves...learn something today...turn off faux news

    July 24, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  5. Brian Dodge

    And 90% of the electorate i suffering a mild-to-severe case of Dunning-Kreuger syndrome.

    What I want to know is will President Romney raise taxes, or make further cuts to Social Security/Medicare/Medicaid/Education to provide the additional funds which will be required (according to the latest US DoD quadrennial defense review) to combat the threats to our National security posed by global warming/
    Further, I would like to know whether he thinks it will be cheaper(money and lives) to fight the threats or reduce them by getting off fossil fuel addiction.

    July 24, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  6. Four and The Door

    Rudy NYC
    ...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?
    ____________________________________________________________________________________________
    Republicans and many Independents have rallied around Mitt Romney and know they have a winner now. And Mitt Romney's plan grows the private sector instead of the government. This is exactly opposite from Obama's approach, the results of which we live right now. The nice thing about a growing private sector is that government revenues increase right along with it. With an increasing cost of government, that growth comes to the sacrifice of the nation's economy.

    July 24, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  7. b

    Rudy, who really cares about that besides anti romney political junkies. It is meaningless.

    July 24, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  8. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    I know enough about Romney that makes me sick to my stomach when he was addressing the VFW today. Within 2 years I've lost 2 brothers who were veterans, one of which served in Vietnam and I buried one last week, they were given Military honors. Romney, his sons and no generation of Romneys have ever served this country, in fact during Vietnam Romney used his Church as an excuse not to serve and today our young men and women are serving and dying in the Middle East and Romney's five(5) sons are running around the country campaigning for him, disgusting. Our parents had six sons and five (5) served this country. I have no respect for these Romneys.

    July 24, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  9. American People

    The American People want to know more!!!! We want to see Romney's tax returns for the last 20 years.

    July 24, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  10. Really?

    Ms. K – Values should be enough. A nation prospers according to its values. BTW, I never could understand why liberals are for abortion. The NEA can't afford to lose more children in the government schools where they are educated according to the liberals' "values". I dare say the secular humanist "values" that our society lives by are a major reason for the moral decay. When a nation takes G O D out of the picture, darkness prevails. The proof is all around us.

    July 24, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  11. Republicangrandma

    I pay my 35% taxes and he just paid 14%. Contrary to his own words "believe in America"? Romney evades paying tax by hiding all of his wealth overseas. I dont trust him. He is the man with no character.

    July 24, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  12. kakaraka

    Cool. Bring Bain Capital and tax issues on. Romney is running away from his own company that shipped jobs overseas like a cat. Interesting.

    July 24, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  13. rs

    Interesting given the almost complete lack of policy from Mr. Romney, and his secret off-shore accounts.

    July 24, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  14. ge

    republicans know romney can not show his tax returns,he would be a dead duck.and would have to retire to the cayman islands.with his money

    July 24, 2012 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  15. Elizabeth's Mom

    @ Really? Well, I am a strong conservative and my background proves it....but I will not be voting for Romney. And there are enough of us that will keep Romney from getting the votes he we will need to become the next President. I DO NOT LIKE OR CARE FOR PRESIDENT OBAMA AT ALL, BUT I DISLIKE MITT ROMNEY EVEN MORE...and many other GOP's feel the eaxct same...WITH THAT BEING SAID, TAKE A GUESS AT WHO THE NEXT PRESIDENT WILL BE?

    July 24, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  16. Wake up people

    @phony sniffit... Sorry Charlie but I don't have either one. I have no mental health records and the only meds I take are Excedrin for headaches and Benedryl for allergies. Now where are your mental health records? If you're not taking anything, maybe you should be.

    OBAMA 2012!

    To the real Sniffitt, this is not for you!

    July 24, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  17. corey

    Romney wants to create more low wage jobs. Don't you fools who back him see that.
    We want real jobs.

    July 24, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  18. Woman In California

    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.

    You write as well as you think.

    July 24, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  19. mgc tampa

    I am curious how people can know enought about Romney since he won't talk about Bain (even though this is the experience he is touting), he won't talk about his time in Mass. He won't talk about his health care bill and he won't talk about his taxes and he has yet to give specific facts of what he would do to iimprove the economy. I thought running for president is a job interview. I personally don't hire people when they don't provide me with the answers to questions I ask. Unless he finally starts to actually say something definitively, he has failed his job interview. Hire me because I say so does not fly with me.

    July 24, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  20. Rudy NYC

    Four and The Door rewrote:

    Republicans and many Independents have rallied around Mitt Romney and know they have a winner now. And Mitt Romney's plan grows the private sector instead of the government. This is exactly opposite from Obama's approach, the results of which we live right now. The nice thing about a growing private sector is that government revenues increase right along with it. With an increasing cost of government, that growth comes to the sacrifice of the nation's economy
    -----------------
    There you go again with that ancient religion and its' false gods. "...grows the private sector..." Don't you mean line the pockets of investors like Romney. Did you forget about jobs creation?

    Right now, investors are doing quite well under the Obama administration. Market climbed from 7000 to 13,000. They're doing well because Republicans have filibustered every attempt to CHANGE the economic policies that were put in place under Bush. Your "private sector" is making profits hand over foot. What about the middle class? They've been waiting for the money to trickle down since Reagan's first round of tax cuts.

    July 24, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  21. FORWARD into the Obama FISCAL ABYSS

    Honesty, Obama has been on the TV almost constantly for 4 years now, sticking his nose into everything all over the country. The Haaaaarrrvad Know-It-All with an insatiable need to prove it every hour of every day. And yet almost nowhere is he polling above 50%. It seems pretty clear that most Americans have decided Obama is a BS artist that is in way over his head. He doesn't possess the leadership ability to lead himself out of a tent with no sides. He just keeps turning left and going in circles.

    July 24, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  22. Ms K.

    really @Really?....values...then 2/3 of the congress should be voted out due to misconduct and decaying moral values....christain values they do not live by......I did not address abortion in my post, but since you made a statement...you are one whom wants to ban all abortions, but once the child is born and the parents, mainly the mother, needs public assitance, you are screaming no welfare/foodstamps, mediaid...get a job...want do the F&$K you want. why is it your business...her chioce is between her and her GOD not GOD/mother/you....now that big government...intruding on her private life....do you want the goverment to intrude in yours? Get a life...learn something new today...turn off faux news

    July 24, 2012 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  23. mgc tampa

    Four and the door...Mitt romneys plan to grow the private sector, really, what is it since he has never said how. Wow, people will vote for a man who has yet to say what he would do...are you really that much of a f o o l????

    July 24, 2012 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  24. Rudy NYC

    b asked:

    Rudy, who really cares about that besides anti romney political junkies. It is meaningless.
    -----------
    Who? People who like facts. Romney is a salesman, nothing more. He's invited us to examine his Bain record, and his Republican primary opponents did a decent job of showing us what his Bain record is really about, job cremation and trickle down economics.

    Why are Romney's taxes important? Because by his own self aggrandizement, he's a job creator. And what is he doing with that 'job creator' money? He hides it off shore so he can take advantage of tax loop holes and pay less than his fair share. In fact, he doesn't even create jobs with it like he's supposed to, not unless you count hiring folks to build car elevators.

    July 24, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  25. Deb

    I want to know more. Although I tend to lean left on social issues, ITS THE ECONOMY STUPID! I will vote for whoever I think has the best plan to fix the economy. All the other noise is just a distraction from the issues that are important to me. Let's see the two of them sit down in a room and answer questions, no evasive answers allowed.

    July 24, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
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