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. Ms K.

    @ Really? the reason why you think the way you do is because you are in the dark, blinded by the S H I T you are listening to and believing in...go seek some light...the truth will set you free...it light all round me and the world i live in...do not want to live in yours...no assication with it....if you live in darkness thats your fault

    July 24, 2012 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  2. ghostriter

    Four and the Door, what plan? Romney's tax plan in which he hasn't said what loopholes he intends to close or for whom, in order to cover the %500 billion in lost revenue.

    July 24, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  3. Obama 2012 - MOVE Forward America, NOT another round of DUBYA's FAILURES

    How can any GOP lemming voter possibly know enough about Mittens to make a decision – other than being told how to vote by Faux Noise Entertainment???? What does Willard stand for... I've heard absolutely zip, nada, zero, zilch of ANY plans he has (other than that completely asinine Ryan tax plan he's adopting) to get this country back on track , other than his constant attack ads on Obama. That approach is so juvenile and lame. What's worse is that the Repug lemmings are lapping it up and believing it! Check your FACTS people.. ARMOR yourself against the right wing nut tide by educating yourself on the REAL TRUTH.. not the hog wash you are hearing from the right.

    July 24, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  4. ST

    What I know is, once the Obama campaign opens the Pandora box, that will be the end of Romney's bid for presidency. It is just matter of time!

    July 24, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  5. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Since Romney so concerned about Iran, Israel and the on-going War in the Middle East and Obama isn't according to Romney, WHY ISN'T ONE OF HIS FIVE(5) SONS VOLUNTEERING TO SERVE. Romney needs to put up or shut up, we as Americans have all made sacrifices and lost loved ones in the Military and no generation of Romney has ever served this country but this country has served them quite well.

    July 24, 2012 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  6. CVBCT

    The release of Romney's taxes is a non issue for this voter. I've already had enough of Obama and his "hope and change". He wants to take America forward right off the cliff. We cannot afford another four years of this President!

    July 24, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  7. mgc tampa

    Deb, exactly what is Romney's plan? All I have heard is "i live in the private sector" not a winning line in a job interview.

    July 24, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  8. scmon

    Everyone keeps talking about the President failed policies. Has anybody noticed that congress won't pass any of his policies. They have been working really hard these last few years making sure nothing pass. So what policies?

    July 24, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  9. 2020

    We know all the negatives about Romney, his failed Bain business experience in job created; his creation of personal wealth by avoiding paying regular tax; exploiting every possible loople to avoid tax; his offershore bank account and investments to avoid tax; and his tightly hidden governor record: 47th rank in job creation.

    and, he brag he is qualified to be president. a jobke

    July 24, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  10. Ex Republican

    Romney show us them taxes.....Romney is a liar.

    July 24, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  11. Nell, NC

    Again I state, if you want your SS and Medicare cut, vote for Romney. Go ahead, I can't wait a few months, if Romney wins, how the folks who voted for him will be looking pretty stupid!

    July 24, 2012 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    "Majority of voters know enough about candidates"

    But are compeltely freekin clueless on the issues, the facts, the historical record and the expert opinions that should be used to determine how we address said issues. Sooooo...onward with repeating the same mistakes that landed us in this mess...go go gadget trickle-down daydreams!!!!

    July 24, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  13. 2020

    We know all the negatives about Romney,

    his failed Bain business experience in job creation;

    his creation of personal wealth by avoiding paying regular tax;

    exploiting every possible loople to avoid tax;

    his offershore bank account and investments to avoid tax;

    and his tightly hidden governor record: 47th rank in job creation.

    is that make him qualified as president of USA? are you kidding?!

    July 24, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  14. Really?

    @Ms K – is it really necessary to use such crass language? Your tone only serves to prove my point.

    July 24, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  15. sftommy

    America has clear choices to pick from. Not so much between Presidential candidates (they're both moderates) as between the GOP and DEM and the fight for the US House. Do the people want more austerity and deficit spending or are they ready to pay down the tax bill. Does America believe everyone should contribute toward healthcare costs? Do jobs really get created with tax credits? Will tariffs bring back jobs from China? Will 17 GOP Billionaires buy out the US House? Which Party will bring progress to solving America's problems?

    July 24, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    "And Mitt Romney's plan grows the private sector instead of the government."

    Obama's already beat him to it. The federal government's employee roster has shrunk under Obama while he's created over 4 million private sector jobs. THE NUMBERS DO NOT LIE.

    July 24, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  17. Really?

    Sniffit – Is that all you have? Anyone who disagrees with you is crazy? Come on, get serious.

    July 24, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    "He doesn't possess the leadership ability to lead himself out of a tent with no sides."

    And, apparently, you don't possess the vocabulary to know that's what's called a canopy, not a tent.

    July 24, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  19. Really?

    Elizabeth's Mom – Cool your jets. We'll see who the next president will be, but if it turns out to be O again I'm wondering if he'll still blame his predecessor. Hmmm.

    July 24, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  20. John

    Hey Mitt release your tax returns. The American people have a right to know before the election. What are you hiding....

    July 24, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  21. June

    Common sense tells me Mitt Romney will cut taxes for the most wealthy Americans. Raise taxes for the middle class, and end programs that help the very poor. Take the Social Security trust fund to repay some of the debt in order to buy our congress. Trickle down economics is the reason for most of the homeless families in America. There are hard working Americans who can't afford the high cost of housing and utility costs. Wages have not increased as much as the cost of living. Big corporations are making record profits and the middle class are disapearing in this country. Anyone one who is not rich is crazy to vote for Romney. I can understand why the rich people will vote for him. Some do because they think God wants them to, but that is not true, God is not a respecter of money, power, or hate.

    July 24, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  22. Really?

    @2020
    Actually, what qualifies him is simply the fact that what we have now is a community organizer who has further divided this country and put us on the fast track to a Marxist dream which will be a nightmare when it finally plays out.

    July 24, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  23. Steve

    There are things I'd like to know about Obama, even after 3 1/2 year. I'd like to see his grades from college and know why Michelle was disbarred. What is the deal with Ayers and Obamas radical past. I'd also like to know if he has a real plan yet or is he just going to golf his way through 4 more years and let others do his job.

    July 24, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  24. Really?

    @June – Are you aware that it was Jesus who said, "The poor you will have with you always." God wants us to share our wealth (and if you look at Romney's history you will see that he has given far more to charity than Obama) but God never demanded we share it OR said government should steal it with exhorbitant taxes so politicians can distribute it and give it to those who are unwilling to work. I know a lot of young adults who refuse to work for minimum wage and leech off their parents. Personally, I lived for many years at the poverty level in order to take care of my own children and gave more than 10% of my income while in poverty, so don't think I'm just some wealthy individual defending Romney.

    July 24, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  25. June

    If Tax cuts for the very rich will create jobs, or as Romney says "good paying jobs" why did our economy crash in 2007? Tax cuts for the rich have been in place since 2001, how many jobs were created from 2001 – 2008? Where are all those jobs? oh I know, they are in China, India, Mexico, any where but the USA. For all you people who say we are in the biggest recession since the great depression, where were you in 2007 and 2008, I know that was the good old days for the rich, they were doing great then, but 99% of Americans were suffering 10 times more then they are now, just 3 years later.

    July 24, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
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