Mitt Romney is firmly viewed as the candidate of the rich and not the middle class according to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll. A remarkable 65 percent think Romney would do the most to advance the economic interests of the wealthiest Americans. In comparison, less than a quarter of voters think President Obama would do the most to help enrich those already very wealthy.
Across every income bracket, education level, and partisan group Romney is overwhelmingly seen as the candidate that will do the most to benefit the rich. Interestingly, the group that most strongly believes Romney would do the most to advance the economic interests of wealthy Americans is the wealthiest Americans. An incredible 82 percent of people making over $100,000 a year think Romney would help them the most, compared to just 8 percent who think Obama would do more for them.
Being viewed as the candidate who would do the most to help the rich won’t necessarily be a problem for Romney if he were, in general, seen as the candidate best able to advance the economic interest of all Americans, including the rich; but that is not the case. The poll found that Americans narrowly think President Obama would do more to advance the economic interest of people like themselves. 46 percent think Obama would do more to help them and their families economically, while 43 percent think Romney would do more for them. The margin was slightly more favorable for Obama on the question of who would do more to economically help the middle class. On that question, 51 percent chose Obama and 42 percent chose Romney.
Romney is seen as a very rich man whose policies would financial benefit rich people like him but not the middle class. That is not a good image in a time of economic hardship and a big target for the Obama campaign to exploit.