June has been a tough, tough month for Team Obama. First there was an extremely disappointing unemployment report, followed by news that Mitt Romney's campaign had significantly outraised the president's by close to $17 million. On Wednesday, Bloomberg released a new poll that showed Obama with a commanding lead over his Republican rival of 53 percent to 40 percent.
The findings suggest that while voters consider both candidates to be flawed, they like Obama more, and 55 percent believe Romney is too removed from the issues and struggles that ordinary people must face on a daily basis. The survey found 57 percent said they'd prefer the president as a seat mate on a long airplane flight. In addition, 49 percent said they prefer the president's vision for strengthening the economy, compared to 33 percent who chose Romney's.
Since Ronald Reagan's first presidential bid, voters have had to ask themselves whether they are better off than they were four years ago, and their response has played a key role in deciding whom to back. In the Bloomberg survey, 45 percent said they're better off now than they were at the start of 2009, 36 percent said they are worse off and 17 percent said they are about the same.
The Bloomberg poll findings paint a very different picture than most other surveys in which the two candidates are closely tied. It wasn't entirely rosy for Obama: 62 percent still think the nation is headed on the wrong track, and just 43 percent approved of his handling of the economy.
"Obama is the lesser of two evils," Rosean Smith, an independent voter from Ohio, told Bloomberg, adding the expectations for fixing the economy were unrealistic. "He was basically handed a sick drug baby and expected to make a genius out of it overnight."
Romney frequently cites his business experience as the reason he is the best man for the job and almost never speaks of his record as governor of Massachusetts. Ironically, 49 percent of respondents said his experience at the private equity firm Bain Capital does not make him better qualified to create jobs as the president, and 41 percent cited his tenure as governor as his most important qualification.
"You can see in these data how important turnout will be," said J. Ann Selzer, who directed the poll for Bloomberg. "Those most enthusiastic about the election are more supportive of Romney, but Obama's voters are more locked into their candidate than Romney's. Building resolve to vote and making the vote stick is job one, and both candidates face obstacles toward getting that done."
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(Photo: Via Bloomberg)