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article imagePoll: President's Bain attack ads not working

By Larry Clifton     Jul 23, 2012 in Politics
Washington - Despite barrages of attack ads by President Obama and Democrats linking presidential candidate Mitt Romney to Bain Capital, Americans think Romney would make good decisions as President due to Bain experience.
Romney scores a decisive advantage over President Obama when it comes to managing the economy, reducing the federal budget deficit and creating jobs, a national USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds.
By a whopping 2-to-1 margin (63%-29%), those surveyed say Romney's background in business, including his tenure at the private equity firm Bain Capital, would cause him to make good decisions, not bad ones, in dealing with the nation's economic problems over the next four years.
President Obama and his Democratic supporters have spent tens of millions for attack ads featuring Bain. The new survey will almost certainly get the attention of Democratic strategists who thought hammering Romney on his business record was an effective election ploy.
Instead, the poll shows that Americans are focused on the economy where the President has a track record. A stalled economic recovery that millions never felt along with years of high unemployment seem to have soured views about Obama’s business competence more than the Bain ads have hurt Romney.
Also troubling for the President’s campaign, Republicans and Republican-leaning independents are much more enthusiastic about the election, an important factor in persuading supporters to vote. By 18 points, 51%-33%, they report being more enthusiastic than usual about voting. In contrast, Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents by four points say they are less enthusiastic than usual, 43%-39%, which signals problems with Obama’s base support.
The polls shows a record number of Americans are skeptical about the activist role of government Obama espouses; 61% say the government is trying to do too many things that should be left to individuals and businesses. That's the highest number since Gallup began asking the question in 1992.
The costly Bain-based Democratic attacks on Romney appear to have had little effect on voters. In February, 53% said the former Massachusetts governor had the personality and leadership qualities a president should have compared to 54% in the new poll. Also, 42% said they agreed with Romney on the issues that mattered most to them in February compared to 45% now.
A separate Gallup poll shows the race remains just about even, with Obama 46 percent and Romney 45, well within the margin of error
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