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. Keeping it Real

    It's really simple. The man hired to do the job has failed to live up to reasonable expectations. All I hear are excuses and blame from Obama. I don't think this warrants another term. It's time for a different president. If he doesn't do the job, then boot him out until we find one that can.

    August 26, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  2. Todd

    A republican led us into a recession, why not let another Republican finish off the damage. Romney/Ryan 2012: All The Way To The Grave!

    August 26, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  3. America1st

    I must have missed it. So a guy who votes "NO" on the American auto industry, and "YES" to a Wall Street bailout was his idea of "management." The only think Romney managed was moving AMERICAN middle class jobs to commies in China, and creating minimum wage jobs at Staples while reaping HUGE hedge fund manager rewards. No, this corporate crony mutated form of capitalism will NEVER get my vote. NEVER.

    August 26, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  4. America1st

    Romney will toss what is left of the American Middle class under the bus for another round of CEO bonuses in a heart beaat.

    August 26, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  5. NameThe Truth

    Obama!! Is the right choice everyone has said what they want to do for our Country or what there plans where for the people. Obama has put forth some action towards his Claims and Promise's that where made so far so I say lets keep giving Obama our support. How about Romney pitch in and support our President so he can have hos chance next Vote 2016!!! Obama!!!

    August 26, 2012 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  6. Ray E. (Georgia)

    It is of course the President's job to support the Constutition. The Constutition allows people to maintain their own life. The President doesn't owe me or you a job. They don't owe you a house or a health plan. But the Constutition has been badly corrupted over the last 75 years or so. The worst thing is a nearly 16 Trillion Dollar Federal Debt and High Unemployment. Because of Liberal Policies, over the last 75 years the country is heading right back to the 1930's, something that all the Social Programs were put in place so people wouldn't have to live in poverty. The Democrats had the Congress for 40 years. But today Cities, States, and people are no better off than they were during the Great Depression. The 16 Trillion Dollar Federal Debt is no joke. After nearly 4 years of Obama not much has changed. It is time to replace him.

    August 26, 2012 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  7. voter

    Obama doesn't "care" about me – only advancing his agenda of redistributing wealth at the expense of our country's health. He is NOT creating jobs; he is giving people handouts and making them more dependent on gov't. Instead of leading, he has treated the role of presidency like a "community organizer". If I wan't care and compassion, I'll talk to my pastor or family. In a president, I want someone to lead us out of this recession and protect our nation's security. That person is Romney.

    August 26, 2012 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  8. DJ

    I find it interesting that the polls find Obama more in touch. When he has gone the opposite direction on serious issues that the majority of Americans are concerned about. I love how the media plays the public, they do not see that by doing do will only cause this country more grief, for them to achieve higher ratings.

    August 26, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  9. ptny

    What part of his income does Romney give the 10% charity to his church from?

    Certainly not his off shore accounts!

    We saw his partial tax return where he did indeed give his church 10% charity...but that was from declared income only in the USA.

    Makes you wonder if he's even giving his church 10% of his total income that would include off shore investments and accounts?

    The church would have that answer in their records, wouldn't it? Contributions?
    Romney, "My contributions to Mormon church should be kept private!"

    Ohhhhhhh that's why he doesn't & can't give his tax returns.
    He's hiding money from his own church too!

    August 26, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  10. Gurgyl

    Mittens does not give darn hoot about you.

    August 26, 2012 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  11. JD

    More in touch? He says what's on a teleprompter designed for the audience he is speaking to. Yes. He has perfected the art of controlling a crowd. That, and 8 % unemployment.

    August 26, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  12. TJohnson

    Under the new tax laws that Romney will try to enforce... Total Exemption of foreign earned income.. Is a companies wet dream.. They will immediately start shutting down business and moving overseas to get PURE PROFIT and tax exeption and only pay the small foreign taxes to the country they create the new jobs which can be lower than 12%.. So, what incetives they have to make jobs in the U.S when all the money will be tax free when created and grossed overseas...

    August 26, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  13. Randy, San Francisco

    Slick ads and speeches at the convention won't change the image Romney's image, an out of touch rich man with no connections to the common man. His character is also in question since he won't release his tax returns. Did he avoid paying US taxes by hiding his money off shore?

    August 26, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  14. HHR

    If I need someone to manage MY money I will choose the rich geek over the superstar nice guy. I don't care if he's "in touch" with me or not. As long as he can manage the money and increase my wealth, fine. The superstar nice guy might help my self esteem, but has ruined my pocketbook. I vote for the rich geek.

    August 26, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  15. Researcher101

    are you nuts – Obama is anti american – anti white – anti colonial – he is dangerous – no conspiracy theory here – go read his own book in which he dives into the memories of being raised by a father who hated whites – who saw them as oppressors - brainshwashing his poor mother by taking her to kenya when she was 17 she said things like "these aren't my people" more importantly to note – Obama is friends with people like Bill Ayers (google it) who tried to blow up the pentagon – mentored by people like Frank Davis (communisit card member – who had an entire case at the FBI for working for the soviets from the inside) pastored by Jeremiah Wright (who hates whites and america and blames both for black problems) Obama is NOT clinton or kennedy or a typical democrat – we understand those guys – he is something else – someone with very different values – someone who was raised to see the world very different than you and i and with a 2nd term he will not hold back from destroying this country - before you "Call me radical" google all the names I just mentioned – go pick up his book – go see 2016 – inform yourself

    August 26, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  16. nolimits3333

    Romney represents the 1%.

    Obama represents the 99%.

    August 26, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  17. HHR

    I want the job of money managing to go with the number-crunching rich guy. Leave the feel good,self-esteem building to my counselor.

    August 26, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  18. kathy/Minnesota

    How do you "MANAGE" people you know nothing about how they "really" feel, think,what they need? I think it is time the GOP admit their part(JUST SAY NO......TO EVERYTHING) in the slow recovery.

    August 26, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  19. ted

    Romney's plan is to reconstitute the Bush plan, more tax reductions to the rich, screw the middle class, probablby start military wars and trade wars, he might even try to outsource Congress.

    August 26, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  20. maryjones@hot

    Romey is a phony actor and not good either he play the public for it's self watch his moments on tv you'll know then where he stands

    August 26, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  21. Jh

    Obama represents the 99% of people on welfare and the 99% of illegals. That is all he represents.

    August 26, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  22. Mark

    I just saw Republican Senator Rubio on Face the Nation. I didn't realize he was so dishonest. I mean he didn't answer one question that was asked about Romney but instead just talked about what Obama has not done. That kind of extreme distortion and manipulation of dialogue is the same as lying because the truth is muddied by his answers. The Americna people don't want used car salesmen in office or running for office. Mark Rubio has got just the car for you.

    August 26, 2012 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  23. voter

    Obama thinks the private sector – that's you and me, folks – is "fine". He thinks an 8-9% unemployment rate is acceptable. Now that's "in touch"? I don't care how cute his family is and how much of a "regular guy" or "popular guy" he tries to be, or how eloquently he speaks. Its not a beauty contest, folks: We need someone who can make the tough decisions to get our economy back on track. This woman is voting for Romney.

    August 26, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  24. HHR

    People can manage themselves. They've been taught that they can rely on Obama to manage their personal lives and give them their monthly dispensation of self-esteem. Obama had 2 years with total Democratic control. He did absolutely NOTHING to solve the deficit. Its now worse than ever. He chose to focus on and issue of need, but not the issue of urgency. Yes, he inherited a problem, but he had total power for two years to fix it. Now, it his problem. Its his clock now. What did he do with his time? He ran us broke!

    August 26, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  25. rs

    Owing to their policies, it is clear the GOP has a real hard time understanding the problems of people. Mr. Romney seems especially obtuse when it comes to making connections about working class Amercia (his jokes about when his Dad closed a plant; Corporations are people, and on and on). The GOP sees problems as philosophy quizes, and against their core belifs, people lose. The GOP is Pro-life but anti human; pro-business but anti consumer; pro-Constitution but antivoting and civil rights; pro-small government but want to monitor your sex life; the GOP is anti-tax but are for raising taxes on the people who can't afford them; they support foreign intervention, but are anti-diplomacy; they are anti-regulation but pro subsidy.

    The GOP is a house of cards, ruling for just the 1%.

    By failing to see the "people" they claim to serve, they have created the least logical philosophy for ruling

    August 26, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
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