Nearly 1/3 Of Independents Less Likely To Support Romney After “47 Percent” Remarks

Another poll seems to suggest that, while the largest segment of voters say that Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” remarks won’t impact their vote, there’s a sizable portion of independent voters who say that it makes them less likely to vote for him:

Almost three in 10 independent voters said Mitt Romney’s comments on the “47 percent” would make them less likely to vote for him in November, nearly twice the number who said the remarks make them more likely to support the GOP presidential nominee.

While a majority of independents — 53 percent — said the comments would have no impact on their vote, 29 percent said it would make them less likely to back Romney, according to aGallup poll. Fifteen percent said it would make a Romney vote more likely.

Overall, 43 percent of registered voters were unswayed by the leaked video, which shows Romney disparaging “47 percent” of the country as dependent on government and destined to support President Barack Obama. A fifth of registered voters said the former Massachusetts governor’s comments made them more likely to support him, compared to 36 percent who said it makes them less likely to support him.

The Romney campaign, no doubt, would point to the fact that the majority of voters, and independents, say that the remarks would have no impact on their vote. That’s a fair and valid point, but in an election where Romney needs every vote he can get, especially in swing states, potentially losing as much as 1/3 of independent voters is nothing to dismiss. I’d be interested to see some state-level polling on this issue to see how things are playing there.

FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, Public Opinion Polls, US Politics, , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. I’m not sure how long the legs are on this issue … but lefties continue to find purchase. I like Krugman’s observation:

    Do today’s Republicans really believe that 47 percent of Americans are “takers”, living off money confiscated from the “makers”?

    No: the evidence suggests that the GOP believes that the fraction of takers/moochers is much higher, in fact at least twice that high.

    Ask yourself: when was the last time a Republican leader made a point of praising hard-working, ordinary families — as opposed to “job creators”?

    It’s true, right? Joe the Plumber had a plan to start a business. Bill the Plumber who had a plan to build a hot-rod wasn’t a “job creator” in the same way.

  2. Two more good reads:

    Makers, Takers, and YOYOs (Jared Bernstein)


    I Know Why The Caged Bird Shrieks (Charles Blow)

  3. Rob in CT says:

    We’ll see. Indies are, by their nature, more persuadable than others, right? Or at least that’s a part of their self-image, though I think it’s obvious most of them lean pretty hard one way or the other.

    So we’ll see if this really sinks in and lasts.

    One of my neighbors, who does not like Obama at all, openly stated that he doesn’t like Paul Ryan a few weeks ago (before this 47% stuff). He’s no liberal. Never will be. Thinks Obama’s giving money away to Those People. Stuff like that. But Ryan is a bridge too far, apparently (not clear whether his dislike of Ryan means he will hold his nose as he votes Romney/Ryan or if it means he will withhold said vote). I wonder how this plays w/him. Maybe it’ll come up this Sunday, as we BBQ together…

  4. Herb says:

    @john personna: Best quote from the Blow piece:

    “Romney, whose economic plan is titled “Believe in America,” demonstrated with brutal efficiency that he doesn’t in fact believe in America.”

    Yep…and to make matters worse, this was revealed days after Romney revealed his first instinct on the embassy attacks was to “blame America first.”

  5. grumpy realist says:

    @john personna: Especially Charles Blow’s editorial. He is devastating in his comments about Romney.

    Just for once, I’d like to see some evidence that Romney cared for someone who wasn’t a member of his business, his family, or his church. I think that to him, the rest of us really are the unwashed peasants begging for handouts outside the family mansion.

  6. Gustopher says:

    @Rob in CT: Just for fun, point out to your neighbor that he lives in a state that will give all of its electoral votes to Obama, no matter which way your neighbor votes. There’s no need for him to agonize over who he dislikes less, his vote just won’t make a difference.

    Things in my family have really settled down with respect to politics over bbqs and thanksgiving and all since I pointed out to my family that they live in New York State.

  7. Gustopher says:

    @Herb: The full tapes have Romney saying that if there was a hostage situation in the mideast, he would be sure to exploit it politically. Which begins to explain his actions after the embassy attacks and our ambassador getting killed.

    To be fair to Romney, someone asked him about the possibility, but the right answer is to instinctively say that you hope it doesnt happen, and that you would have to tread carefully to avoid inflaming a situation.