Poll finds independents wary of both Romney, Obama economic plans

The swing-voting independents that are likely the key to November's presidential race are distrustful of both President Obama and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney's economic plans, according to a poll released Wednesday by ABC News and The Washington Post.

More than half of independents surveyed, 54 percent, say they see the president's economic plan negatively, while just 38 percent say they consider Obama's proposals in a positive light. For Romney, 47 percent rate his plans unfavorably, versus 35 percent who rank his proposals positively.

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While more independents are undecided about Romney's plans, giving the Republican challenger more room to attract support, the former Massachusetts governor is also likely benefiting from the fact that more conservatives identify themselves as independents than do liberals. Among self-described moderates, the president's economic plan is actually favored, 48-46 percent, while Romney's plan shows a 37-47 percent deficit.

Romney's plans are also less popular with his base than Obama's are among his own supporters: Romney's policies earn the support of only 53 percent of conservatives polled, versus two out of every three liberals that likes the president's plan.


Still, there are plenty of discouraging signs for the president. His plan is least popular with middle-class voters who earn between $50,000 and $100,000 and will be essential to winning Rust Belt swing states. White voters are split on Romney's economic plan, but are against the president's by a 2-to-1 margin.

In a Reuters/Ipsos poll also released Wednesday, the number of Americans who said the economy was on the wrong track rose dramatically, eroding the president's job performance numbers and pulling Romney into a virtual tie in the national survey.