One of the only advantages Mitt Romney has had over President Obama was being seen by voters as better able to handle the economy. Romney’s favorable numbers were never great and he trailed Obama on most issues, but being perceived as the candidate who could best deal with the number one concern of voters was significant. This once-important advantage for Romney is now completely gone.
Obama hasn’t just neutralized Romney’s previous advantage on the economy — according to new polling, Obama has actually taken the lead on the question of who would best handle the economy. From CNBC:
A national CNBC poll finds President Barack Obama holds a commanding lead over Mitt Romney on the key issue of who would be better for the economy over the next four years.
Obama gets that nod even though Americans, by overwhelming margins, believe the economy is worse now than it was four years ago whenObama’s term began.
Our latest CNBC All-America Economic Survey of 800 American adults across the nation shows Obama with a nine-point lead over Romney, 43 percent to 34 percent, on who would do a better job on the economy in the future.
Obama’s advantage on the economy isn’t just with national adults, which as a group tends to be more Democratic-leaning than the subset of Americans who actually vote. New state-based polling also shows Obama is perceived as better on the economy among voters in the top swing states.
A Washington Post poll found 49 percent of registered voters in Florida think Obama would do a better job with the economy while 45 percent pick Romney. In Ohio, Obama leads on the economy question by an even larger margin, 50 percent to 43 percent.
The latest swing state polling by PPP found that Obama has a small but real advantage on the economy. In Florida, 50 percent of likely voters trust Obama more on the issue of the economy while 46 percent trust Romney more. In Colorado Obama led on that same question 49 percent to 46 percent.
This is a truly devastating development for the Romney team. The main focus of the Romney campaign had been based around the premise that Obama failed on the economy and that America needs a seasoned businessman to come fix it. If Romney is no longer seen as the candidate best able to fix the economy, the main public justification for his campaign has been completely undermined.