The results of a Gallup/USA Today poll released Wednesday indicate that 36 percent of voters are less likely to vote for Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney considering his controversial comment that 47% of voters are with Obama, and dependent on the government.
While 20% of those who participated in the poll say the comments make them more likely to vote for him, 43% say the comments won't make a difference in their choice of President.
Romney was secretly caught on video in the News Today as saying at a fundraiser earlier this year that "there are 47% who are with Obama, dependent on the government, who believe they are victims, and who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them."
On Tuesday, a random sample of 885 registered voters across the United States were asked if the comment would influence their voting preference in the November 6 Presidential election.
A substantial majority of Americans have already made up their minds about their vote choice, so it is likely that many of those who claim to be "more likely" or "less likely" to vote for Romney are, in essence, indicating that the comments reinforced their pre-existing vote choice.
This may be particularly true of Democrats, who have the strongest immediate reactions, with more than two-thirds saying the comments make them less likely to vote for the GOP nominee. Gallup Daily tracking data show that only 5% of Democrats are voting for Romney. On the other side, 92% of Republicans are voting for Romney.
But independents -- voters who are, by definition, less fixed in their partisanship -- tilt toward the "less likely" over the "more likely" view by a 29% to 15% margin -- although more than half say Romney's comments make no difference.
There are also differences by income in response to Romney's comments. Those with annual household incomes of less than $24,000 are slightly more likely than average to say the comments make them less likely to vote for Romney (42%). Those making $90,000 or more a year are more evenly split, with 28% saying "less likely" and 24% "more likely."
The immediate impact of Romney's comments appears to be more negative than positive, which suggests that the comments could hurt Romney's prospects, Gallop said on its website. Still, the long-term impact of any news event that flares up in the heat of a presidential campaign is difficult to determine, they say.
by RTT Staff Writer
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