CNN Poll: Which candidate cares more about you?
August 26th, 2012
09:02 AM ET
10 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. OBAMA 2012

    Romneyhood only cares about the 1%.

    August 26, 2012 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  2. Eric

    Did you add the option to choose "Neither" on your poll? Because that would win hands down.

    August 26, 2012 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  3. Pam LaBrake

    obama/romney two of the same. I am ONLY voting for Dr. Ron Paul, the father of the Tea Party, the ONLY candidate who will bring all of our troops home ASAP to defend our borders. the only candidate with a plan to cut the budget by one trillion dollars, the ONLY candidate who will follow the Constitution, the ONLY candidate for life, liberty and freedom.

    August 26, 2012 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  4. rla

    Who cares– Like him all you want his record shows he either dosen't care or has no understanding of what caring for the country means.. That's what is important

    August 26, 2012 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  5. Paul

    Either of them care about the middle class, but I dont really want a President that panders to me, offering me more junk and continuing to add to this huge defecit. I support Romney, lets get our Fiscal house in order..

    August 26, 2012 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  6. carol stanton

    Obama of course; Mitt and Ryan are out there for the 1% ......not all Americans and if you believe otherwise....
    your way off course. Proof is in the Pudding

    August 26, 2012 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  7. M

    As far as the Romneys are concern, "you people" are just a means to an end to get to the White House.

    August 26, 2012 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  8. Jules

    Not even close. The GOP cares nothing about average Americans. They believe in the trickle down economic theory and really don't even recognize that it never trickles down. The Dems at least have people in their midst that understand tough times, suffering, and trying to get by. That is no where to be found in the GOP.

    August 26, 2012 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  9. Suzi S

    P.S. I wonder what actual percentage of the country actually still has a land line.

    August 26, 2012 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  10. Jules

    Romney will manage the government better – are you kidding me – he can't even manage his mouth. The government is not a business despite what George W. and Romney think. It is a service oriented organization, not about making profit but about serving the citizens of the country. Romney has never had any experience at anything like that.

    August 26, 2012 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  11. Mike Parent

    Neither of them can break 50% approval consistently.
    Dems and Reps, different pages from the same bad book!

    August 26, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  12. nothing new here

    I don't like Big Government – but I don't like Romney (Big Business) any better.
    What we need are people that will govern with sound economic ideals, and those that will leave the theological rhetoric at home.

    August 26, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  13. becky

    mitt romney the best candidate for prez

    August 26, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  14. CBR

    The question is not who cares about any one group but rather who will be the most even-handed when dealing with problems. Who will make sure that children will be well-educated and have opportunities Who will help to insure that our young people have jobs? How will the needs of senior citizens be addressed? Who will make sure that veterans returning from the war have jobs? Who can make us all feel they have each of our interests at heart?
    he business world of Mitt Romney is not very friendly. Big business owners are often more interested in making money to wow the shareholders. The attention to employees is not as it should be?

    The President must have compassion and courage? The President must have the the abillity to bridge the gap between the haves and the have nots? This President must reassure voters that he will not cater to those who paid for his election?

    August 26, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  15. Misha

    I rather vote Jill Stein of Green Party. She cares about you more than either Romney or Obama!

    August 26, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  16. TessaBD

    One has to wonder, given the state of the economy, the 23M who are either unemployed or underemployed, what will motivate people when they actually vote. Given the amount of pain and anxiety in the country right now, I would put my money on the candidate with the "clear plan for soling the country's problems," numbers taken from your poll below.

    Has a clear plan for solving the
    country's problems
    Likely Voters
    Aug. 22-23, 2012 Obama 39% Romney 45%

    August 26, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  17. pray

    of course this is a cnn poll and you can bet that the majority of the "likely" voters are registered democrats.

    August 26, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  18. T'sah From Virginia

    ►CNN Poll: Which candidate cares more about you?◄
    The one that has a more diverse audience when you look at the tube!!
    The one who "did not" wake up yesterday thinking differently from yesteryear
    The one who the other side took the initiative to maliciously label – OBAMACARE!!
    YES, OBAMA does CARE more about the "middle class" and the majority of America!!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!!

    August 26, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  19. drake mallard

    Mitt Romney loves to throw people off his path. Now he believes in this, now he doesn't. The world may never know...

    He will have to check with his corporate sponsors for the appropriate response, then cross check with polling of his base, and then confirm the best way to word the answer with his team of corporate marketing experts.

    August 26, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  20. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mittens is not one of us. As a plutocrat, he does not understand democracy, the middle class, the poor, minorities, seniors, veterans, or young people.

    August 26, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  21. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    For an anchor baby, Mittens should self deport himself, and then he could see first hand if it works.

    August 26, 2012 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  22. Indy

    Romney retroactively cares when it fits the crowd,its hilarious when he pretends to care about the middle class because you can see right through his lies,double ditto for Ryan

    August 26, 2012 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  23. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mittens care about corporations, money laundering, tax evasion, shipping jobs overseas, illegal tax returns, and somehow putting $100 million in an IRA.

    August 26, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  24. Martha in CF

    President Obama cares the most about the American people. Romney hasn't a clue about the everyday life of people trying to make it. Obama has been there and done that..I don't even care to hear Romney speak because he isn't sincere and I can tell by the way he speaks that he is uncomfortable. If you think that Obama can turn this country around from the mess he got when he became president in his first term is unrealistic. Also, Congress has not helped with ANYTHING...
    Obama/Biden 2012

    August 26, 2012 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  25. Anonymous

    Funny poll. The majority thinks Obama cares more about them and yet will cast their vote for the other guy? That guy Mitt Romney who we all know is nothing more than a lying sack of crap?

    Well, if they do vote for Romney and he does win, chances are his voting base is going to be terribly disappointed very soon into his first term, which will once again create a downturn in the trust factor for ALL politicians. He IS a proven liar after all. Can't imagine what makes them think he'll be something else if elected. Especially after Nixon, another proven liar before elected - and proved to be a pathological liar after elected.

    Might just as well stay with the guy we've got and elect those who will work with him, not against him.

    August 26, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
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