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Home arrow Market Research Findings arrow Government and Politics arrow USA: Obama Seen As More Trusted Than Romney Across Range Of Policy Positions
USA: Obama Seen As More Trusted Than Romney Across Range Of Policy Positions PDF Print E-mail
Written by GfK   
11 May 2012
Findings from the latest AP-GfK Poll

Americans express a more favorable view of President Obama, giving him higher ratings than the Republican challenger Mitt Romney for Obama’s abilities to handle a range of issues, according to the latest national AP-GfK Poll.

The poll shows Romney faces a credibility gap, with fewer than one-third of Americans feeling that Romney more often says what he believes (31%), while a majority say that Obama more often says what he believes (54%). Even on traditional Republican strengths, such as national security and taxes, Obama outranks Romney.

Just a few weeks after Mitt Romney solidified his position as the Republican candidate in the November Presidential election, a majority of Americans say they trust Obama over Romney to protect the country, an area of traditional Republican strength, (53% versus 37%, respectively).  A decisive majority also trust Obama more than Romney to handle social issues (53% versus 32%).    

Across several leadership qualities, Obama also leads Romney.  When asked to compare the two candidates, Obama is viewed as a stronger leader (50% versus 39%); and is seen as someone who better understands "the problems of people like you” (51% to 33%).   Americans also seem to find Romney’s credibility lacking:  a majority say that Obama more often says what he believes (54%), while fewer than one-third (31%) feel that Romney more often says what he believes.

Another key indicator of Obama’s advantage at this point is the fact that he edges out Romney when it comes to trust on handling taxes (47% to 41%), which is a traditional Republican issue.  Still, the economy remains a top concern of Americans, with neither candidate being clearly perceived as someone to trust to handle the economy (46% for Obama versus 44% for Romney).

Americans less familiar with Romney’s policies
At this point in the Presidential race, Americans are split on whether they have a grasp on the policies Romney would pursue if elected President, suggesting that he has an opportunity to sway voters.  Just over four in ten (44%) say they have a good idea of the policies Romney would pursue as President, while close to half (48%) say they do not.  

Not surprisingly given that he is the incumbent, Obama’s policies are understood by two-thirds (67%), while just 28% say they don’t have a good idea of the policies he would pursue as President.   Looking across demographic subgroups, no significant differences emerge in terms of any age groups having a clearer understanding of Romney’s policies if elected President, suggesting he has opportunities to attract voters across generations.  

Higher income Americans (those with household incomes over $50,000) are more likely to say they have a good idea of what Romney’s policies as President would be than do lower income Americans (57% to 34%).

How the poll was conducted
The Associated Press-GfK Poll was conducted May 3 - 7, 2012 by GfK. This telephone poll is based on a nationally-representative probability sample of 1,004 general population adults age 18 or older.
Interviews were conducted with 703 respondents on landlines and 301 respondents on cellular telephones. The sample included the contiguous 48 states, Alaska, and Hawaii. Interviews were conducted in both English and Spanish, depending on respondent preference.

The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3.9 percentage points at the 95% confidence level, for results based on the entire sample of adults. The margin of sampling error is higher and varies for results based on sub-samples. To find out more, visit

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