Obama and Romney in Dead Heat on Economy
We're all familiar with the positions of President Obama and his likely Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, on issues like contraception and same-sex marriage, and we know that they'll likely come out differently on questions related to health care, taxes and the federal deficit.
But when it comes down to it, more than half of all Americans say the issue that will actually decide their vote in the fall is the economy. And according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, the two candidates are in a dead heat when it comes to who voters think can manage that issue the best.
From the Washington Post:
The parity on economic issues foreshadows what probably will continue to be a tough and negative campaign. Overall, voters would be split 49 percent for Obama and 46 percent for Romney if the November election were held now. On handling the economy, they are tied at 47 percent ...
More than eight in 10 Americans still rate the national economy negatively, but there are strains of optimism as it continues to recover from the collapse of 2008. A majority of Americans -- 54 percent -- say they are more hopeful than anxious about the situation over the next few years, while 58 percent are bullish about their financial prospects.
But it is a rearview-mirror assessment that could hurt Obama’s chances for a second term. One key indicator has hardly budged this year: Asked where they stand financially compared with when Obama took office in January 2009, 30 percent say they are worse off, and only 16 percent say they are better off. There is not a widespread sense that things would be better had Romney been president for the past three-plus years, but for the incumbent it is a critical measure. On this question, Obama’s numbers continue to resemble those of George H.W. Bush, who lost his bid for reelection in 1992 amid a flagging economy.
Read more at the Washington Post.