Poll: Voters prefer Obama's foreign policy to his economics
May 22nd, 2012
08:23 PM ET
11 years ago

Poll: Voters prefer Obama's foreign policy to his economics

(CNN) - Voters are nearly evenly split between President Barack Obama and GOP candidate Mitt Romney, according to a poll released Tuesday evening, which also shows that voters approve more highly of Obama’s handling of foreign policy than of the economy.

In the 2012 race, voters favor Obama 47% to 43%, though the results are within the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll's sampling error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. The survey is in line with other polls of the presidential field, such as an ABC News/Washington Post poll released Tuesday morning, which showed Obama at 49% and Romney at 46%.

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Voters are inclined against Obama's handling of the economy - 52% disapprove, while 43% approve. The numbers are nearly reversed for his handling of foreign policy. Both numbers are similar to the results of other surveys by the same outlet this year.

Polls have shown the economy as the issue of most concern to voters, and the NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey shows nearly half of voters say they expect the economy to stay stagnant over the next year. One-third expect it to improve, and 19% foresee the economy worsening.

Those surveyed were split when asked whether "Obama has mostly brought about the right kind of change to the country." Thirty-six percent answered affirmatively; 33% percent said he has "brought about the wrong kind of change"; and 29% were skeptical that the president has brought change in either direction.

Twenty-seven percent said they or a family member would be uncomfortable with a president who is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to which Romney belongs. Forty-one percent said a gay person would cause them or their family discomfort, and 12% said an African-American president would concern themselves or a family member.

The poll of 1,000 adults was conducted from May 16 to 20.

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Larry L

    Many voters have no concept of economics but they do like dead terrorists. Who doesn't? Nobody who's had Economics 101 would expect the recession Obama inherited, with all economic indicators going down the toilet with great momentum, to be fixable in three or even four years. Still, within three months of his administration conservatives were hollering for a quick solution – while they watched the Republicans block every initiative. These same people find NASCAR interesting and believe the earth to be less than 6000 years old.

    May 22, 2012 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  2. Four and The Door

    Voters are inclined against Obama's handling of the economy – 52% disapprove, while 43% approve.
    Of the 43% who approved of Obama's handling of the economy, 6% are union bosses, 14% are Wall Street bankers living la vida loco thanks to free fed money, 5% are foreclosure lawyers and 18% misunderstood the question.

    May 22, 2012 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  3. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    The only foreign policy Romney has is to insure that his five(5) adult sons don't wear a U.S. Military but continue to dress in their suits and ties to enrich and serve themselves. The U.S. economy has served this Romney family well therefore they have nothing to complain about, not to me anyway.

    May 22, 2012 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  4. jerry

    I believe most Americans are ignorant of obamas foreign policy...the middle east is a mess and what we have done to Israel is horrible. And I guess it was ok to bomb and strife Libya then murder their leaders... If we had some nightly TV coverage of the war and our troops activities around the world..people would be real upset...we don't even know how many people die and are hurt on a daily basis...a news black out for obamas benefit and many of us know it.

    May 22, 2012 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  5. Liz the First

    Does anyone with half a brain think we'd be better off with the people who made the mess in the first place??? Instead of looking at how far we've come, which is pretty far in the face of intractible opposition to every good thing Obama's tried to do, let's realize how totally screwed we'd have been if we'd let the rethugs keep doing what they were doing. we'd be in the throes of a full-blown Depression today instead of being on the road to recovery. that's what Obama did. we've become so impatient we want instant solutions to problems years in the making. wake up, people!!!

    May 22, 2012 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  6. leftisloony

    when forced to choose between two unpalatable choices, the lesser of two evils will do.......thats what you get with
    obama, lots of unpleasant choices.......have a nice day

    May 22, 2012 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  7. Dennis

    Too bad for the Prez because this election is going to be about the economy. Wouldn't want to run on his record.

    May 22, 2012 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  8. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I prefer a proven leader like Obama, to an uninformed flip flopping war monger like Mittens.

    May 22, 2012 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  9. NameNorm

    If you want to watch the CEO's of multi million dollar corporation get richer while the poor and unemployed get even poorer and stay unemployed , vote republican. If you want a future for yourself and your children , keep The Republicans out of the White House so Obama can continue to repair the damage they have done ( and continue to do).

    May 22, 2012 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  10. John

    47% to 43% with a margin of error of 3%????? hmmmmm...... that means it could be 50% to 40%

    May 22, 2012 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    CNN, ABC, NBC and CBS are going to spin most of this years election coverage in favor of Barack Obama, but the facts remain, this president has failed, he failed the 23-million U.S. residents who are jobless, he has divided the country deeply along racial and economic lines and he has wasted billions of tax payer dollars and still a stalled economy. As for the vice-President, he is the most out of touch and clueless VPs in history.

    May 22, 2012 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  12. *ROMNEY* 2012

    Republicans will make America a super power again.

    May 22, 2012 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  13. Thomas

    They would prefer Obama's economic policy too , if only the House would get off there butt . Do nothing obstructionism ?

    Imagen if the do nothing republican congress was involved in the Bin Laden raid , IT WOULD HAVE NEVER HAPPENED !
    I can't wait till Mitt Romney is elected , we will once again be the most laughed at country in the World , it will be like old times , bring us back the GW Bush years !

    Romney is Bush , only with more money and less sense of humor !

    May 22, 2012 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  14. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Given all that has been said Romney's policies both economic and foreign policies, I don't think that I would support any of it.

    May 22, 2012 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  15. Common Sense 2012

    Dang its 2012 and still fighting racist...come on guys! the numbers don't lie, in a few more years from now, the whites will be in the minority...what a day that will be!!! See how it feels then...

    May 22, 2012 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  16. America will be saved

    Obama's leadership is so irresponsible that he gave away the Presidency to Romney.

    May 23, 2012 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  17. John milner

    Foreign policy? Barry works for the global tyrant! How can that be a good thing?

    May 23, 2012 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  18. JB

    Does Obama have anything closer to foreign policy! or the ever appeasing protein nutrition bar policy to the North Koreans.

    May 23, 2012 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  19. Donkey Party

    What is it going to take for American voters to realize that lower taxes for the wealthy and corporations (Romney's policies), and fewer or no regulations (also Romney's policies), also known as 'trickle-down' economics, is what caused the depression / recession in the first place? Are Americans so stupid that they would hand the keys right back to the party that drove us over the cliff? Voters are ignorant, but my God, even the dumbest ones have to realize how horrible Republicans are for our country.

    May 23, 2012 03:43 am at 3:43 am |
  20. Gurgyl

    20 billion dollars to Pakistan stopped. GM alive Bin Laden killed, nation on good track, obama12
    Ps: no war in iran

    May 23, 2012 06:22 am at 6:22 am |