Featured Research

IDEOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES ON BARACK OBAMA AND MITT ROMNEY

May 10, 2012
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Six months before election day, electoral fundamentals favor Republicans according to the latest Resurgent Republic national survey of 1000 registered voters conducted April 30-May 3, 2012. Following are key highlights pertaining to their ideological perspectives.



Read the full report: Electoral Fundamentals Favor Republicans in 2012




  1. Voters perceive Mitt Romney as "somewhat conservative." When asked how they view Mitt Romney on a five-point scale, 36 percent say he is "somewhat conservative" and 22 percent say he is "moderate," for a total of 58 percent who view Romney as a center-right candidate. Despite recent efforts by the President's campaign to paint Romney as a far-right conservative, only 17 percent of all voters view Romney as "very conservative." Moreover, two-thirds of Independent voters view Romney as a center-right candidate, with 38 percent viewing Romney as somewhat conservative and 27 percent moderate; only 13 percent of Independents view him as very conservative. Democratic efforts to paint Romney as an extreme conservative outside the mainstream face strong headwinds among registered voters.


  2. Voters perceive Barack Obama as "very liberal." After three and a half years in office, 36 percent view Barack Obama as "very liberal," and 24 percent view him as "somewhat liberal," for a total of 60 percent who view Obama as a candidate of the left. Only 22 percent view Obama as "moderate." Independent voters follow the overall view, with 37 percent viewing Obama as very liberal, 26 percent somewhat liberal, and 21 percent moderate.


  3. Voters in general, and Independents in particular, view themselves as "somewhat conservative" or "moderate." This question reinforces the widespread view that America is a center-right country. Twenty-seven percent of voters (and 32 percent of Independents) view themselves as "somewhat conservative." Twenty-five percent of voters (and 32 percent of Independents) view themselves as "moderate."


  4. Voters view Barack Obama, not Mitt Romney, as outside the ideological mainstream of the American electorate. Only 8 percent of American voters consider themselves to be "very liberal," the dominant perception of Barack Obama. On the other hand, the dominant perception voters have of themselves is "somewhat conservative," exactly the same as the perception of Mitt Romney. Among Independent voters, less than one-third (29 percent) view Barack Obama as “moderate” or “somewhat conservative,” yet nearly two-thirds (64 percent) view themselves that way. Independents view themselves ideologically as almost identical to Mitt Romney (65 percent view Romney as “moderate” or “somewhat conservative”). As the presidential race enters the general election phase, Mitt Romney is far closer to American voters ideologically than Barack Obama, especially among critical Independent voters.


  5. Independents view Barack Obama more negatively than Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney's favorable/unfavorable rating among Independents is 43/42 percent, compared to 44/50 percent for Barack Obama. Based on their current perceptions, Obama faces more of an uphill climb than Romney among Independent voters.



Read the full report: Electoral Fundamentals Favor Republicans in 2012

Filed under: President Obama, Polling Analysis, and 2012 Election