Are attacks on Romney’s business record working? Polls are split

Joel Roberts
July 24, 2012

Two new polls reveal different findings about whether the Obama campaign's attacks on Mitt Romney's tenure at Bain Capital are hurting the Republican challenger.

USA Today/Gallup poll released Monday night suggests that "Democratic attacks on Romney seem to have had little effect on voters' assessments of him. In February, 53 percent said the former Massachusetts governor had the personality and leadership qualities a president should have; now 54 percent do."

By a margin of 63 percent to 29 percent, those surveyed say Romney's business background, including his time at Bain, "would cause him to make good decisions, not bad ones" on the economy.

The poll also shows Romney with "a significant advantage" over the president on "managing the economy, reducing the federal budget deficit and creating jobs."

But a Reuters/Ipsos poll released early Tuesday finds that the sustained Democratic attacks on "Romney's business history and refusal to release more tax records appear to be working."

Thirty-six percent of registered voters in the poll say the issue has "made them see Romney less favorably, compared to 18 percent who said they were now more favorable" toward him.

"With three-quarters of registered voters saying they've heard at least a little about these issues, I would say the Obama campaign has been successful in raising them to the national conscience," says Ipsos pollster Julia Clark.