Good ol’ Zandardad flagged down this story in my email today on the latest WaPo/ABC poll numbers this morning, and they’re good news for the President (as far as election poll results in February can qualify as “good news” for anyone, I guess.) The crosstabs are pretty interesting when you take a look, too.
President Obama’s approval ratings are 50%-46%, and by a 50%-48% reading, people think he deserves a second term. The Republican nominees as a group fare much worse in approval, 36%-54%.
Of the Republican leaners in the poll, Newt has the most experience to qualify him for President (46%), but Mitt wins the “can beat Barack Obama” category with 56%.
Here’s the interesting part: People are split on Mitt’s wealth being a positive or negative (43%-44%) but only 30% of Americans think he’s paying his fair share of taxes, 2/3rds of Americans don’t (66%).
Also, President Obama would win 51%-45% over Romney and 54%-43% over Gingrich if the election were held now among registered voters. Finally, while President Obama splits with Romney on the issue of job creation and Romney has a six-point edge on handling the economy, the President has a whopping 19-point lead on protecting the middle class, and a 16-point one on handling terrorism.
In other words, despite the effort to paint him as the dreaded Other, President Obama is winning handily on the middle-class “one of us” issue over Mitt. There’s a lesson to be learned there.