In the latest AEI Political Report, the AEI Politics team looks at at the new phase of 2012 campaign from a variety of angles.
May 2012 AEI Political Report
• AEI’s May Political Report sizes up President Obama and Mitt Romney on policy, personal qualities, favorability ratings and messages. President Obama does well or is competitive on some issues that have been traditional Republican strengths, such as foreign policy and taxes. Romney does better than Obama on handling energy and gas prices. Though voters hold significant doubts about both men, most troubling for Romney is that nearly 7 in 10 say they are only somewhat or not at all confident that he has the right set of goals and policies.
• Vice President Biden’s favorability rating (42 percent) lags the president’s (45 percent).
• Ann Romney isn’t well known at this early stage of the campaign, while Michelle Obama is a formidable asset: with 60 percent rating her favorably, she is one of the most popular figures in the administration.
• The economy remains fragile. Only 35 percent told Quinnipiac that they are better off today than four years ago; 68 percent believe the economy is still in a recession.
• President Obama leads Mitt Romney by large margins as the person who would be better on women’s issues. In a new CBS/New York Times poll, however, only 6 percent of women say women’s health issues will be the single most important factor in their vote.
• Are the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street losing steam? Forty-two percent say the Tea Party and 51 percent say Occupy Wall Street have run their course.
• The story about how the Romney’s put their dog Seamus in a cage on the roof of their car when going on a family vacation refuses to go away. That may be because people have such strong attachments to their pets. According to a 2011 Harris poll, 88 percent consider their dog a family member and 60 percent have bought their dog a holiday present.