New WaPo poll on Obama/Romney gives both sides hope

Share on Nextdoor

If you go by the theory that it's the economy (stupid) that will decide this election (and why wouldn't you?), then the poll gives Mitt Romney and his supporters something to grasp as they begin to start pivoting from his "severe conservative" positions he's felt he's had to take in order to win the GOP nomination.

Romney has always benefited from his reputation at Bain Capital as being a "turnaround artist," a guy who knows business and thus will do the same for an economy that is still stalled, some two-and-a-half years after the recession officially ended (forget the fact that as governor of Massachusetts, the Bay State was 47th in job creation).

On who is better at handling the economy in the new poll, Romney leads Obama 47-43 percent.

On handling the deficit, Romney leads Obama 51-38, the only question in the survey where he has a double-digit lead.

And on energy, Romney's up 47-42.

Everything else, President Obama has a small or substantial edge over his probable Republican challenger.

But there is a lifetime of events, some of which we have no idea about at this time, that will occur over the next half-year that could and possibly will change these numbers.

But one thing is clear: Mitt Romney is coming out of this race a bruised candidate, with a lot of ground to make up to show people he's not as phony as he comes across.

Barack Obama has to hope that the economy continues to show the modest gains that have occurred over the past six months or so.

Can we begin this essay by saying that presidential polls in April are interesting in that they tell us where the public stands today, but give us little indication of what will happen in November?

We say that, having followed too many presidential polls that, for example, showed Michael Dukakis leading George H.W. Bush by 17 points in the summer of 1988, or Jimmy Carter leading Gerald Ford by 33 points in the middle of 1976 (Yes, Carter won, but by just 2 percentage points).

So the fact that Barack Obama has a marginal lead over Mitt Romney in a new Washington Post/ABC News poll is, well, interesting (he's up by 8 points).

Much more interesting is how Obama is annihilating the former Massachusetts governor when it comes to the question of who you'd rather have a beer with, phrased here as who seems more friendly and likable. Obama is up 64 to 26 percent when that question is asked. The president is also up big when it comes to who is more inspiring (55-29 percent).

In fact, in almost every index in this survey, Obama is beating Romney, except for three categories — two extremely important ones involving the economy.

Scroll to read more News Feature articles


Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.