CNN Poll: Which candidate cares more about you?
August 26th, 2012
09:02 AM ET
2 years ago

CNN Poll: Which candidate cares more about you?

Tampa (CNN) – A new national survey illustrates the challenge Mitt Romney faces at the Republican convention as the GOP presidential challenger gets re-introduced to the American public.

While a CNN/ORC International poll indicates the race for the White House between Romney and President Barack Obama is in a dead heat among likely voters, new numbers from the survey released Sunday indicate that as of now, Obama's personal characteristics outshine those of Romney.

See full results (pdf)

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According to the poll, 53% of likely voters say Obama cares about the needs of people, with 39% feeling the same way about the former Massachusetts governor. The president leads Romney in the poll by an equal margin when it comes to being in touch with the middle class. And six in ten say Obama is in touch with the problems facing women today, with just over three in ten feeling the same way about Romney.

Forty-nine percent say the president is honest and trustworthy, with 42% saying the same thing about Romney. The poll indicates likely voters are divided on which candidate has a more optimistic vision for the country's future, is a strong and decisive leader, shares your values, and inspires confidence. Romney has 48%-44% margin over Obama on managing the government effectively and a six point advantage on having a clean plan for solving the country's problems.

"When it comes to the personal qualities of the two major-party candidates, the choice seems to be between compassion and competence in the eyes of many Americans," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "The public gives Obama a big advantage over Romney on questions on caring about people and understanding their concerns. Romney's strong points appear to be his skills as a manager and having a clear plan to solve the country's problems."

"The challenge facing Romney at the GOP convention is to build on those managerial strengths while at the same trying to convince average Americans that he is in touch with their problems. Obama's personal characteristics, for the moment, outshine Romney's," adds Holland.

The survey also indicates that 43% say Obama doesn't change his mind for political reasons, with 39% saying the same thing about Romney.

Reacting to the poll, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, on CNN's "State of the Union," said at the convention "We have to tell the Mitt Romney story here. People are just getting to know Mitt Romney."

The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International Wednesday and Thursday (August 22-23), with 1,055 adult Americans, including 924 registered voters and 719 likely voters, questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points, with a sampling error of plus or minus 3.5% points for likely voters.

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

soundoff (93 Responses)
  1. Sharon Rice

    Why does media 1. Not give us both sides of an issue with researched truth? 2. Not address the issue of Republicans refusal to pass legislation to make SURE Obama fails. What happened to supporting your president and if plans then fail, vote a change? Think country's well-being not self or party. Oil and super wealthy want more even if they destroy their own country. Short-term tax increase and loophole closing could get us out of debt. They wouldn't feel the pinch like middle class does. Venting and seeking truth and political cooperation in the ranks of Congress.

    August 26, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  2. Bob

    LOL.... Obama only cares about his golf game.

    August 26, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  3. Jerry Agbemabiese

    The gap between obama and Romney will widen more once people get to know the real romney. This election is about the middle class and obama understand them more. The economy is an issue but America is doing better than any other economy if they play fair. Romney will send more jobs to China and fire more people, obama all the way.

    August 26, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  4. Patricia Murray-Zarzour

    The choice is clear...vote for a great orator (the really nice book cover but empty content) or the person with a hugely successful record with all his endeavors (maybe not so pretty book cover but an incredible story)...Mitt has my vote.

    August 26, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  5. Get Real

    That's easy, NONE OF THE ABOVE!!!!!!

    August 26, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  6. OldSlick

    Old Mitty he look's like a very good used car salesman ,slicked back hair,smarmy smile ready to say or do anything to get you to buy.

    August 26, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  7. mark s ducharme

    If only this election was about group hugs and doing the hokey pokey. Obama would be a shoe in. Everyone knows only the final poll counts but what about the nielsen ratings on the two conventions. It's going to be telling.

    August 26, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  8. littleone

    Well Bob I guess you don't check facts just look at pictures and draw a conclucion from then, you need to get off you bu- and check out things, or are you upset because he is a better golfer then you

    August 26, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  9. Johnglenn

    Your right Bob. I've played golf once, its a game. Last I saw, ohbummbler has played 131 times, didn't say if it was 9 or 18 holes, the point ? How does someone in charge of so much have that much free time to play a stupid game ?

    August 26, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  10. Mariana

    @ Sharon Rice: Who creates the jobs that the country needs for Americans to provide for their families? How many businesses in the country have been created by welfare recipients? Would you rather see yourself and everyone you know working for a paycheck or sitting at home waiting for your EBT card to be reloaded?
    As an immigrant, I wasted my first two votes on a Democrat: Jimmy Carter, convinced of the lies I heard that Republicans were racists, had no compassion, cared only for the wealthy, and the rest of the lies the MSM spreads day in and day out. As the years went by I met probably thousands of people, studied the country's history on my own, and read and observed what happened in the country, I realized that everything was the exact opposite of what I heard and still hear from the MSM. What is your excuse for still believing the malarky you are fed?

    August 26, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  11. lsbrew

    I for one, will sleep better tonight knowing that the people that CNN polled think that Obama cares more about me than Romney.

    August 26, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  12. stillearning7777

    RNC is breaking the rules,,,,to keep ron paul out, ron paul has the 5 state rule report that cnnn

    August 26, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  13. AqChicago

    The media owns a BIG BIG Share of this blame for not researching and educating its viewers with proper truth. They will have so much credibility in giving us true news vs. true entertainment.

    August 26, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  14. bcarreiro

    the republicans in congress have stunted the growth to this economy by blocking obama and the american people. we the people had enough with republican party who have caused the demise to this country!!!

    August 26, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  15. superlogi

    I can't speak to the accuracy of CNN's polls, but I can suggest the people polled were lacking in common sense. If Obama is more in touch, then why has his entire tenure as President been a failure? Furthermore, it appears Obama has more in common with his golf buddies than he does the general public. But, one thing I do know about the poll with regard to Obama's mendacity, it was in obvious error.

    August 26, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  16. The Right Left

    While I disagree with many policies embraced by the Democrats, the GOP represents the regressive and selfish elements of our soceity. Their policies are driven more by selfish greed, tribalism, racism, bigotry and intolerance all in the name of State Rights, our way of life, us against them. It has become a party of the Rich that masterfully manipulate the ignorant and the angry in our society to rise up against their own interests to give cover to the ultra rich. It is now officially a feudal party that exploits via the clergy and tribal instincts.

    I have left the GOP and will not return to them. This is the first year I will be voting straight DEM, even though I do not agree whole heartedly with them.

    August 26, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  17. jeff

    You have to explain how he pays 14 percent in taxes but also pays about 14 percent to charity. That goes to people in need poor and middle class. It has to be shown how many good deeds are done under the radar so he doesn't get credit. What also has to be done is show how what he plans will help the middle class not the wealthy

    August 26, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  18. onlyfacts61

    Concerning Romney, on each poll question take away 1% the remaining number represents a lot of mislead citizens.

    August 26, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  19. The Right Left

    Much of the GOP voters are unaware of how charity and investments can be manipulated to reach a desired financial goal.

    Records are showing that the Mormon Church is one of the investors via Bain Capital.

    In the absence of Romney's tax returns being made public and lack of transparency by his church, one can only assume there is a quid pro quo between him and the Mormon church. One can easily give away 14% of their income for a larger return via stock swaps that are then placed in off shore accounts for much higher values while avoiding taxes in the US.

    The shell game is played beyond the comprehensioon of an average GOP voter. They are fed the Birther issues, State Right issues, Vaginal probe issues etc.

    August 26, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  20. JOE

    Main thing here is Obama has failed as President. Time for him to move on. Romney/Ryan 2012.

    August 26, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  21. gmenfan54

    Romney is a better manager for off shore investments and creating job opportunities in China.

    August 26, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  22. NEVER to VOTE REPUBLICAN again

    Manager of what!? Just His Own Money! He took TAX PAYERS Money to "Save" the Olympics! No, he did not build the Olympics on his own!

    August 26, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  23. DarqueSide

    @ jeff – He doesn't give 14% to CHARITY... he gives over 10% to his CHURCH!! Which the Mormon church REQUIRES! You have to attend a 'settlement' at the end of the year to make sure you've anted up, and if you don't, it's considered "stealing from the Lord"! More like a shake down for the lord...

    August 26, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  24. Goodluck EnofeName

    Obama is good.He has the people at heart. The people are the masses that require adequate welfare and not "haves"

    August 26, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  25. ptny

    What part of his income does Romney give the 10% charity to his church from?
    Ill bet not his off shore accounts! Curious.

    August 26, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
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