PHOENIX, May 22, 2012 — When the American electorate goes to the polls in November, the economy will be on the minds of most voters.
The economy has been and should be at the forefront of every voter’s mind this election cycle, and now a new poll shows that when it comes to the handling of the economy, voters are split on whether President Obama or Mitt Romney would better handle it.
The latest Washington Post/ABC News poll shows that even though each candidate gets 47 percent on who would better handle the economy, Obama still edges out Romney, 49 percent to 46 percent, on who the question, “who would you vote for if the election were held today?”
The poll also indicates that 52 percent of Americans think the economy and jobs are the “single most important issue” when it comes to deciding the next president. However, the sample strategy of this new poll calls into question its accuracy as an indicator of how the electorate will vote this November.
In this poll, 32 percent identified as Democrats, 22 percent as Republicans, and 38 percent identified as Independents.
The 10 percent margin between Democrat and Republican turnout wasn’t seen in the 2008 election, where the D/R/I split was 39/32/29. During the 2010 mid-term election, the D/R/I split was 35/35/30.
It is highly doubtful that only 22 percent of the electorate will be Republicans in 2012, a year that sees many Republicans eager to vote out the president and re-take the Democrat-controlled Senate.
Even with a sample that over-represents Independents and Democrats relative to Republicans, the poll shows that Obama’s approval rating is underwater at 47 percent, with 49 percent saying they disapprove of his performance.
When it comes to the handling of the economy, Obama receives poor marks: 42 percent approve of the way he’s handling the economy, with 44 percent strongly disapproving and a net total of 55 percent disapproving of the way he is handling of the economy.
Of those surveyed, 83 percent also described the state of the economy as “negative,” compared to the mere 17 percent who said it was in a “positive” condition.
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