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. TJohnson

    Everytime you call HP or any type of company where you think you should be talking to an american and a person from an India call center picks up the phone to resolve your problem, like a big example SPIRIT AIRLINES, think about Romney... because all your customer service reps will be foreign if Romney gets elected and put his polices in place... When you want to call and order anything over the phone you will be dealing with India...

    August 26, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  2. The Elephant In The Room

    Only 1 candidate is;

    1.) touting rosy platitudes instead of nuts & bolts issues affecting "lunch-pail" Americans.

    2.) afraid to offer specific action plans

    3.) saying "TRUST ME" without providing data or credible explainations.

    That candidate DOES NOT deserve to be President.

    Now, notice I didn`t name the person, only the character flaws he has exhibited.

    August 26, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  3. Mark

    A money manager in a company is usually called the comptroller. This position reports to the president of the company. Romney is not a leader. He is a follower who doesn't know enough about the business of government "for the people" to be in a leadership position. Balancing the budget, for example, will not produce jobs for the country if businesses are sending them off-shore. Balancing the budget just helps businesses make more money, but today that does not mean there will be more jobs here in the United States. Romney is just more of the same Republican "old economics" that is not in the nations best interest. Jobs will help the nation, improve profits, and balance the budget. Businesses that off shore jobs to not contribute to the American economy or its jobs. They are takers. Republicans got it wrong.

    August 26, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  4. TJohnson

    How is Obama at fault? Bush created this mess and I am sure you who is behind Romney also voted for Bush.. It is not Obama's fault that all what he wish to do is not done and unemployment is still high? you have Republicans fighting him on all policies he proposes and he can get anything into law that will help you because the Republicans in the Senate will not sign off on the proposals.. So how can he be blamed.. If you wish to blame the constant unemployment write congress and tell them to start cooperating with Obama and vote to put his proposals into effect.

    August 26, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  5. Lizzie

    rs, your right private business is not like the government, where you can screw up, lie to congress, go on PAID leave (6 figure salary) so you can keep your lavish retirement benefits, while AG Holder makes sure that you have a job with JP Morgan at a 6 figure salary, to keep your mouth shut. (William McMahan)

    August 26, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  6. charlie

    The auto bail out saved my state ( local right wing radio even agrees), and the stimulus saved my house. The last 2 years have been the most profitable that I have ever had. Mitt would put me back under water.

    August 26, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  7. Lizzie

    The Elephant In The Room, so tell us again what is the mascot of the democratic party.

    August 26, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  8. Sheon1

    Which version of HIM will Mitt Romney show us this time?

    August 26, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  9. the real ib

    gas prices–up 102% since Obama took office
    home energy costs–per Obama's own words in 2008 will skyrocket due his cap and trade being put into effect by EPA since he can't get even democrats to vote for it in the senate
    unemployment–over 8% for the longest period ever under any president
    private companies– scared to do any hiring due to new regulations coming down everyday from Obama and Obamacare
    coal miners (middle class actual working people)–more being laid off everyweek due in large part to cap and trade regulations
    Great job of looking out for the middle class and senior citizens Obama. If you are helping these people would hate to see someone who is trying to hurt us.

    August 26, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  10. Tony

    It is not that Romney does not care about the average people. They don't even exist in his world.

    August 26, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  11. Name:Afangideh(Nigeria)

    Let Obama continue for he has been able to fight terrorism.so let him go a head and lead the people

    August 26, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  12. Kimo

    By all means, if you think the rich aren't rich enough or that corporations don't have enough power, you should vote for Mitt.

    August 26, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  13. TJohnson

    Anyone who votes for Romney must be out of their minds... You want to talk about job loss.. What you think will happen if Romney is able to put his policies into law... Your job will be gone overseas just like Spirit Airlines and a lot of U.S companies that has shut down and went over seas... Why you think they are overseas in the first place? To avoid high taxation. Romney wish to completely exempt foreign earned income from U.S taxation completely.. This means all corporation will flock overseas to pay the lower foreign tax rate to other countries and the low wages and keep all their profits.. Thats why Romney invest overseas.. He only wants to completely exempt his investment from U.S taxation.. : If you are Corporate owner and you got notice that all your foreign earned income is completely tax exempt. What would you do? Probably shut down your U.S company and move it overseas to pay 12% tax rate to India, pay 500 dollars a month to Indian workers and have all your profits completely exempt from U.S taxation...

    August 26, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  14. Bren

    Here is the message that Romney and Ryan need to put in an ad-and state on almost a daily basis......"Are you better off now then you were 4 years ago?"....."Are your kids better off now then they were 4 years ago?". Then they need to cite sources showing what the unemployment rate was during each year that Bush was in office, and compare it to each year that Obama has been in office. Then they need to cite sources showing that gas prices were only $1.69 a gallon when Obama took office--and show the average gas prices for each year that Obama has been in office. This will definitely wake up a LOT of voters before November!!!

    August 26, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  15. America1st

    The only thing ROMNEY proved any good at was OUTSOURCING American middle class jobs to commies in China while creating minimum wage jobs at Staples. But no worries, he picked up 5 mansions doing so.

    August 26, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  16. DAVID

    the best way to see how Romney can manage is for him to release his tax returns! "trust me" i am a good manager is just not getting it. i don't think a good manage is a person that is changing focus and direction on his ideas all the time. example : i want to hire a person because in their interview they say that it is a good idea to evaluate a person in writting every 6 mounths. i like the idea so i hire that person. after he has been with me for 6 mounth i ask about written evaluations. than they tells me you only have to do that every 3 years.

    August 26, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  17. yogi

    The most annoying thing for Romney in running for president is that he has to deal with people every day.

    August 26, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  18. SEAL Team Alpha and Omega

    Hopefully, the Republican'ts won't cancel any more days and hopefully this is the worst hurricane in U.S. history making Hurricane Katrina look like a 5 MPH wind gust and wipes out the entire GOP delegation and the Temple of Doom where they are planning to hold their secret "closed-to-the-media middle-class invasion war plans strategy."

    August 26, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
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