Poll: Obama holds lead, majority of voters say Romney ‘out of touch’

A majority of voters pick Mitt Romney as more “out of touch” than President Obama, according to a new poll released Wednesday, which shows the Democratic incumbent holding a 13-point lead over his GOP challenger.

The Bloomberg National Poll asked likely voters which candidate’s argument has been more convincing, as each campaign works to paint its rival as unaware of the plight of the “average American” in an election year dominated by the struggling economy.

{mosads}According to the poll, 55 percent picked Romney over Obama (at 36 percent) when asked who is more “out of touch.” Similarly, about a third of voters questioned believed Romney was the best of the two at “understanding your problems and struggles.”

The poll puts the president in the lead nationally, with 53 percent saying they would vote for Obama if the election were today, compared to 40 for Romney. The poll’s findings show a stronger lead for Obama than other recent national polls indicate. The Real Clear Politics average of polls shows Obama with only a 2-point lead over Romney.

Obama’s base also shows greater enthusiasm than Romney’s, with 51 percent of Obama supporters describing their support as “very strong” compared to 35 percent of Romney’s supporters who would describe their support that way.

Polls continue to indicate that voters pick unemployment and jobs as the overall issue they are most concerned about in the election, and Bloomberg’s poll indicates Romney has room to make headway on those issues. Obama earned 48 percent when the survey asked which candidate would be best at “getting the economy going,” while Romney took 43 percent.

However, voters increasingly seem to think the economy is getting better, with a larger percentage of those surveyed indicating they are “better off” now than they were at the beginning of 2009, when Obama took office. The poll found 45 percent think they are better off in June 2012 compared to January 2009, a jump from 38 percent in the last Bloomberg poll that asked the question, in March 2012. But most are still “cautious” about expectations that the economy is improving, with 48 percent indicating “nothing is really happening” one way or the other right now, while 32 percent are hopeful and 19 fearful things are getting worse.

Evaluations of Obama’s job performance are vulnerable to economic headwinds, and have dipped in other recent polls. While 53 percent approved of Obama’s job performance overall in the Bloomberg poll, 43 percent approve of the job he’s doing on the economy, and 46 on creating jobs.

Obama’s favorability rating still far exceeds that of Romney, with 55 percent and 39 percent approving, respectively. Most Americans would also prefer to sit next to Obama on a long airline flight. 

The poll has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

This story was updated at 9:18 a.m.


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