Can Romney Win the Economy and Lose the Election?

There is no question that the economy is issue #1 in this year’s presidential election; it is probably #2 and #3 as well. So if Mitt Romney can convince voters that he has a better shot at improving the economy than Obama, doesn’t that mean he will win? I would think so.

Yet, to the long list of polling data that make no sense this year, add this one: Scott Rasmussen, at the same time that he finds the presidential race to be a dead heat, also says that significantly more voters expect Romney and the GOP to improve the economy, compared with Obama and the Democrats:

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that only 34% of Likely U.S. Voters think the economy is likely to get better if President Obama is reelected and Democrats regain full control of Congress, marking little change from early July when the two sides ran nearly even. By comparison, 43% now believe the economy is likely to improve if Romney wins and the GOP is in charge of Congress. That’s up seven points from 36% in the previous survey.

Sixty-two percent (62%) are more pessimistic about the economic impact if the president and his party in Congress win the election, with 41% who expect the economy to get worse and 21% who say it will stay about the same.

So even though Obama carefully avoids saying “four more years,” that is exactly what most voters–including many of his supporters!–expect, should he be re-elected.

If it really is true that a plurality of voters think the country has a better economic future with Romney than with Obama, and that plurality is growing, then Republicans have every reason to be optimistic about November.

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