Over twice as many Americans describe themselves as totally conservative on economic issues, the results of a new Gallup poll released Friday show.
Meanwhile, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's campaign strategy focusing on fiscal issues seems to be paying off, as he has drawn even with President Barack Obama in a new ABC-Washington Post poll.
Although Friday's ABC-WaPo poll showed respondents thought of Romney as protecting the wealthy and Obama as advancing the interest of the middle class, "when it comes to the best champion for 'you and your family' or small businesses, the two run evenly - marking the closeness of their contest overall," a release accompanying the poll said.
The Gallup poll, on the other hand, exhibits another political consequence of the economic downturn - 46 percent of Americans now identify as fiscally conservative, more than twice the 20 percent that say they're fiscally liberal.
"The changes in self-identified economic conservatism coincide with the economic downturn and President Barack Obama's time in office," Gallup said. "But because the jump occurred between 2008 and 2009, and Americans were already concerned about the economy in 2008, the change in presidential administrations from Bush to Obama may be the bigger factor."
Both of these polls hint at problems for President Obama's re-election campaign.
The ABC-WaPo poll shows that although Americans see Romney as partial to corporate interests, they believe the business background of the former Massachusetts Governor and Bain Capital CEO could help the country in its recovery.
Meanwhile, since more Americans consider themselves to be strongly fiscally conservative, this could clash with Obama's past economic policies, according to Gallup, even if the president characterized his policies as staving off a recession.
"[The trend of American fiscal conservatism] has increased in the last four years, perhaps due to President Obama's economic agenda. This suggests that a conservative economic message from Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney may resonate with voters this year," the Gallup release said.
Meanwhile, the ABC-WaPo poll suggests Obama's strategy of framing Romney as a fiscal elite is not helping his case.
"Obama stands little to gain from attacking Romney as the darling of the rich; partly because it's so broadly agreed upon, views that Romney is the better proponent of the wealthy do not independently predict vote preferences," the ABC release said.
However, Obama continues with this tack, telling Iowans in Des Moines yesterday, "Governor Romney has made his experience as a financial CEO the entire rationale of his candidacy for president...It explains why the last time he visited these very same fairgrounds, he famously declared that corporations are people."
The ABC-WaPo poll numbers shows Obama and Romney neck-and-neck among respondents on who would protect small businesses (45-47 in favor of Romney) and "you and your family" (46-43 in favor of Obama).
However, the president still holds onto a lead among those who think he'd do more to advance the economic interests of the middle class (51-42), regardless of their fiscal ideology. It is this group that he will have to hold on to going into November's general election.
by RTT Staff Writer
For comments and feedback: email@example.com