Rasmussen: Voters Trust Obama On Job Creation More Than Romney

The latest Rasmussen poll result could be seen as a sign that Mitt Romney is losing control of his own narrative:

Following another dismal jobs report, voters overwhelmingly rate job creation as important to their vote but are almost evenly divided when it comes to which presidential candidate they trust more on the issue.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 95% of Likely U.S. Voters rate the issue of job creation as important to how they will vote in November. That includes 69% who consider it Very Important. Only three percent (3%) view job creation as not very or Not At All Important to their vote.

The most important number is only available if you have access to Rasmussen’s subscriber section, and it shows that 47% of those polled trust Obama on the issue of job creation, while 45% trust Mitt Romney. Note again that nearly everyone surveyed said that job creation was important to how they would vote in November.

Given that the jobs picture has been so bad recently, many have speculated that it would be a serious vulnerability for the President in the election and, indeed, the Romney campaign has done its best to make a political issue out of each of the monthly jobs reports. The puzzling thing for many people, though, has been the fact that, despite this admittedly bad news, the President and Governor Romney remained stuck in a tight race and the President’s job approval numbers remain at or near 50%. This could be one reason and, if it’s an accurate reflection of the state of the electorate, I’d suggest that it’s something that ought to deeply concern the Romney campaign. If the public starts viewing the candidates as basically equal on this and other economic issues, then the Romney’s campaigns arguments in favor of firing the President become that much difficult to get across to the public.

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Campaign 2012, Economics and Business, Politicians, Public Opinion Polls, Quick Takes, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds 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. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Moosebreath says:

    I know Rasmussen’s survey questions can be odd, but I think the headline needs to be fixed.

  2. @Moosebreath:

    Yeah, I just fixed that

  3. Jr says:

    The damage done by Bill Clinton continues.

    If Obama wins, we are going to look back and realizes that speech was the end of Mitt Romney’s pursuit of the White House.

  4. I was driving across town yesterday and I saw a Romney/Ryan headquarters. It was, sadly, in a building that needed paint, and there was a “For Rent” sign just above “Romney/Ryan.”

    I really should have stopped to take a picture. It’s just such a great metaphor for this week’s zeitgeist.

    (Many of us pride ourselves on spotting the emptiness of the Romney economics and jobs arguments early on. If anything, we might be a little surprised at this point to find that everyone else is actually catching on.)

  5. mattb says:

    Side note…

    Rasmussen’s state-by-state electoral polling is getting rather dusty. Either they are waiting until we’re well past the conventions to release a whole slew of new research in battleground states, or for some reason they are sticking with data compiled at the beginning of August.

  6. michael reynolds says:

    Romney has no case to make. Which kind of precludes making it. The entirety of his economic approach is, “Remember what didn’t work at all under Mr. Bush? Let’s do that again!”

    And again: narrative. What’s the essence of the Romney story? “I”m a rich guy who is not Obama.” That’s his campaign. He’s running on being a rich white guy.

    The essence of Obama’s narrative? “GM is alive, Bin Laden is dead, sorry I only got this GOP mess partly cleaned up, give me another four years.”

    That’s not a great narrative either. But people like Obama. Many people love Obama. No one loves Romney. When you like someone you give their story some leeway. When you don’t like someone you hear only the worst aspects of their story.

  7. stonetools says:

    This is interesting because Obama has given up on fiscal stimulus, which is the only way to quickly revive the economy and lower the unemployment rate . Obama pretty much seems to be arguing for a slow recovery over time, in which he will protect the social safety net and make investments in education. As a liberal who would urge fiscal stimulus, this is disheartening to me since it condemns millions of people, here and abroad, to long term unemployment for no good reason. But it seems Americans are OK with this.
    At least its based in reality. Romney’s economic policy is based on fantasy, and does nothing to help with unemployment besides, and people see this.Also too, the Bain and Harry Reid attacks successfully portrayed Romney as a businessman concerned with maximizing profitand avoiding taxes, not creating jobs.

  8. Neil Hudelson says:

    Maybe if Romneys party had submitted evem one jobs creation bill…

  9. @stonetools:

    This is interesting because Obama has given up on fiscal stimulus, which is the only way to quickly revive the economy and lower the unemployment rate .

    That might reflect conventional thinking:

    “Checherita and Rother investigated the average effect of government debt on per capita GDP growth in twelve euro area countries over a period of about four decades beginning in 1970. They confirm and extend the finding by Reinhart and Rogoff in their 2010 NBER paper. A government debt to GDP ratio above the turning point of 90-100% has a ‘deleterious’ impact on long-term growth. In addition, they find that there is a non-linear impact of debt on growth beyond this turning point. A non-linear relationship means that as the government debt rises to higher and higher levels, the adverse growth consequences accelerate. Results across all models ‘show a highly statistically significant non-linear relationship between the government debt ratio and per-capita GDP for the 12 pooled euro area countries included in their sample.’

    As we move away from crisis we should look at long term cost-benefit analysis.

  10. al-Ameda says:

    I believe that part of the reason that Romney is trusted less on the ‘job creation’ front is that he opposed the ‘job preservation’ measures that Obama took in bailing out GM and Chrysler. Also, perhaps Liberals have done a good job is characterizing Romney’s job at Bain as one that eliminates jobs while creating wealth for him.

  11. stonetools says:

    @john personna:

    As we move away from crisis we should look at long term cost-benefit analysis.

    For me, an unemployment rate of eight per cent and above for as far as the eye can see means we’re STILL in crisis, especially since a downturn in Europe can spike the unemployment rate again. Again, you can always find economists to agree with you that fiscal stimulus is inappropriate, but the scholarly consensus favors a stimulus to get the economy moving again. People have sort of given up hope on stimulus from Europe and USA because of the political gridlock. They are hoping that China’s next round of stimulus, which is underway, to help:

    Caterpillar (CAT.N), the world’s largest maker of construction equipment, expects a $157 billion Chinese infrastructure spending drive to feed through to its sales next year, boosting its operations both locally and in North America.

    China has given the go-ahead to 60 infrastructure projects as it seeks to export weakness resulting from Europe’s debt crisis and a slow U.S. recovery that have dragged its economic growth to a three-year low.

    Its a funny world where companies in capitalist America hope that a Communist country will help revive the Western economy through Keynesian stimulus, but there it is.

  12. Gustopher says:

    Cutting taxes on the “job creators” hasn’t resulted in a whole lot of jobs — we’ve seen that, throughout the Bush presidency, and through the Obama presidency. But that’s all Romney has to offer.

    It’s not that Americans trust Obama on this issue, it’s that they trust Romney less.

  13. @stonetools:

    For me, an unemployment rate of eight per cent and above for as far as the eye can see means we’re STILL in crisis, especially since a downturn in Europe can spike the unemployment rate again.

    I won’t press you too hard, because we do just disagree, but I will note that this was the argument for late-Bush era stimulus. IMO that was too late also. It certainly didn’t prevent the 2007 crash. It was the wrong answer for the time.

  14. Console says:

    @john personna:

    But how much worse is the 2008 recession without bush’s stimulus? There was one or two quarters of GDP growth in that year, IIRC. The ultimate crash still happened, but I don’t see how letting it start from an even deeper point would even remotely put us in a better position now. Most people prefer stability to higher peaks and lower troughs.

  15. sam says:

    @Doug

    The puzzling thing for many people, though, has been the fact that, despite this admittedly bad news, the President and Governor Romney remained stuck in a tight race and the President’s job approval numbers remain at or near 50%.

    I think the results simply reflect the belief that, re Gov. Romney, there is no there there.

  16. Tsar Nicholas says:

    When I saw the headline of this blog post literally the first thing that popped into my head was: “People Trust Dr. Kevorkian More Than Dr. DeBakey With Their Health.” Seriously.

    That aside, is it really all that “puzzling” that it’s a very tight race despite the horrific job market? Really? I don’t think so. Obama is going to get 95-plus percent of the black vote on heavy turnout along with overwhelming supermajorities from various demographic micro groups, e.g., young students, unionized K-12 teachers, wealthy liberals in the burbs, etc., etc. It all adds up. And misery loves company.

  17. stonetools says:

    @john personna:

    To be honest, I don’t know what could have been done to avoid the 2008 crash. I just haven’t done the research. But I am convinced that we should have gone all in on stimulus in 2009, as Krugman and Obama’s advisors counseled , and that had we done so, we would have had significantly lower unemployment now. I think that the pivot away from job creation to deficit reduction in 2010 was based on the delusion that the economy was in full recovery, when it was in fact still stalled. The stalled economy and 10 per cent unemployment in turn fueled the Tea Party surge, which is why we now have hundreds of morons populating our national and state legislatures trying to roll the country back to 1962, if not 1932.
    Poor economic policy has political consequences, and if unemployment rises again, we will see more Tea Party people in power. Thats my argument for action to quickly lower unemployment, quite apart from the economic misery of dooming millions to long term unemployment .

  18. TheSenyor says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: He’ll probably get closer to 98% of the black vote. And he should. The Republicans, as a party, still use the old Southern Strategy – appeal to embittered whites by reminding them of the lazy minorities who get free things from the gov’t (who are much worse than the lazy whites who get free things from the gov’t). Romney’s welfare ad lies are the best example of this in a long time.

  19. Ebenezer_Arvigenius says:

    While I’m very much on the side of Kaynes, I think in this case restraint might be the better approach for now.

    The problem I see in the U.S. economy is that it has, for a very long time, been run on excess consumption. U.S. demand has been bolstered by a) significant deficit spending on the part of the government and b) high private spending fueled by easy access to credit and backed by paper profits.

    While deficit spending can shore up demand in a cycle slump or crisis, the attempt to keep up artificially elevated spending levels via government debt is a fools game (and not very Keynesian) since it would have to be a near-permanent measure. This would no longer be about compensating for extreme oscillations but to lift the general level of the whole curve. That is simply not a sustainable approach.

  20. @Console:

    But how much worse is the 2008 recession without bush’s stimulus? There was one or two quarters of GDP growth in that year, IIRC. The ultimate crash still happened, but I don’t see how letting it start from an even deeper point would even remotely put us in a better position now. Most people prefer stability to higher peaks and lower troughs.

    I don’t know, man. Would two years without the NINJA loans still had a housing cash?

    We had arguably been in a slow housing bubble for the previous 20 years. If it had been less steep at the end might we have avoided it all together?

  21. @stonetools:

    Well it was clearly a credit crisis. Pulling every lever to keep that bubble going was bad in two ways. It meant that tax cut stimulus and deficit spending were already in place in 2007, before the crash, and it inflated the bubble at the same time.

    Republicans fault Obama because he had to keep going with stimulus, but in an ideal world (counter-cyclical spending) he’d have gone into that slump with a surplus, and plenty of room to borrow.

  22. Console says:

    @john personna:

    I don’t think so. The housing bubble in and of itself isn’t what killed the economy. It was banking. Banks don’t need the government to make bets with money they don’t have. We simply learned no lessons from the Great Depression or the Savings and Loans crises and rather then the mild recessions of the 90’s and 2000’s, we got a 1929 style collapse.

  23. stonetools says:

    @john personna:

    Republicans fault Obama because he had to keep going with stimulus, but in an ideal world (counter-cyclical spending) he’d have gone into that slump with a surplus, and plenty of room to borrow.

    Given long term bond rates, the government still has plenty of room to borrow. Again, if you are now comfortably well off, its easy to counsel restraint and to urge the long term unemployed to wait a year or two or three.The problem is, that long term unemployed people are in danger of losing their houses or seeing their unemployment compensation cut off are likely to reach for desperate political solutions( see the mid -term US elections of 2010 and German elections of 1933). I think guys like you, JP, and Obama just don’t see that dynamic and somehow think that the electorate makes the kind of rational calculations that they don’t in real life.

  24. mantis says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. There is never a good reason to trust a Rasmussen poll.

  25. @stonetools:

    Again, see the concern with debt to gdp ratio.

  26. @Console:

    I don’t think so. The housing bubble in and of itself isn’t what killed the economy. It was banking.

    I’ll refer you to:

    The Great Recession—which officially lasted from December 2007 to June 2009—began with the bursting of an 8 trillion dollar housing bubble.

  27. Console says:

    @john personna:

    You think there’s 8 trillion dollars worth of mortgage loans in America?

    The question you have to ask yourself is since that obviously isn’t the case, how do you get from small size of the subprime market to 8 trillion dollars in financial instruments.

  28. Jim Treacher says:

    @Jr: And if he doesn’t?

  29. Console says:

    @Console:

    * 8 trillion worth of bad mortgage loans

  30. stonetools says:

    @john personna:

    Again, see the concern with debt to gdp ratio

    I’ve looked, and that the argument is that there maybe some danger of long term damage to the economy if we pursue expansionary policies now, therefore we should do nothing. This is not a convincing argument to me, given the certain economic distress visited upon the long term unemployed today and the danger that they maybe susceptible to extremist appeals. Again, I think we need to address the political and economic consequences of inaction , rather than pretend there is no downside to inaction.

  31. mantis says:

    @Jim Treacher:

    And if he doesn’t?

    We won’t. You are just full of dumb questions, aren’t you?

  32. @Console:

    The same $8 trillion number is available elsewhere:

    @stonetools:

    Right, but if your goal is growth, you have to take the economic threat that high debt leads to low growth seriously. Big guns like Reinhart and Rogoff are telling us that at some point stimulus becomes counter-productive.

    That’s not the same as the Republican argument that (Democratic) stimulus is always bad, it’s a different claim, that there are practical limits.

  33. Stan says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: He’s also going to get a majority of the votes of urban professionals. These people were overwhelmingly Republican back in the 50’s when I first voted. Dumbing down your message doesn’t work with every group.

  34. Console says:

    @john personna:

    I’m not saying the number is fake, just that it doesn’t get that large without all the extra mortgage securities built on that. The inflation of the bubble was fundamentally wall street gaming of the system, you can’t really conflate that with Bush sending out a few hundred million in tax checks.

    In fact, shifting the debt onto the government’s tab would be the easiest way to unwind a credit crisis (i.e. bush sends out checks and people pay bills). But either way, the banks were on the hook for a lot more than just some bad mortgages. Solely calling it bubble sort of misses the point (and definitely does nothing to explain what happened globally). Semantics, but in this case I think it matters.

  35. stonetools says:

    @john personna:

    Right, but if your goal is growth, you have to take the economic threat that high debt leads to low growth seriously. Big guns like Reinhart and Rogoff are telling us that at some point stimulus becomes counter-productive.

    One can take this seriously, but agree with Krugman, Delong and others that the political and economic consequences of doing nothing is worse. In 1932 there were economists like Hayek and Andrew Mellon who counselled that growth policies would lead to all sorts of bad economic consequences, too. Doing nothing always has its defenders.

    The leave-it-alone liquidationists headed by Secretary of the Treasury Mellon … felt that government must keep its hands off and let the slump liquidate itself. Mr. Mellon had only one formula: “Liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate the farmers, liquidate real estate” … “It will purge the rottenness out of the system. High costs of living and high living will come down. People will work harder, live a more moral life. Values will be adjusted, and enterprising people will pick up the wrecks from less competent people

    Generally, such people are financially secure and well off and so can take an Olympian view of the proceedings. Then they are surprised when economically stressed people elect Tea Party crazies in 2010 or you know who in 1933 Germany.

  36. al-Ameda says:

    @Console:

    I’m not saying the number is fake, just that it doesn’t get that large without all the extra mortgage securities built on that. The inflation of the bubble was fundamentally wall street gaming of the system, you can’t really conflate that with Bush sending out a few hundred million in tax checks.

    Prior to the 200720-08 crash of the housing market, Case and Schiller estimated that, in aggregate, the housing market was overvalued by at least 20%, and in many parts of the country in excess of 25%. $8 trillion dollars is a very reasonable estimate of the economic loss attributable to the housing market. A greater amount was lost in the investment markets.

  37. bill says:

    wow, you can fool some of the people all of the time. i thought rasmussen was a conservative poll that nobody in here takes seriously?

  38. george says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    When I saw the headline of this blog post literally the first thing that popped into my head was: “People Trust Dr. Kevorkian More Than Dr. DeBakey With Their Health.” Seriously.

    Actually, I think Romney’s problem is that because of his history of outsourcing, people associate him with Dr.Kevorkian in terms of jobs. I don’t know a lot of people who particularly trust Obama on jobs, but I know quite a few who are terrified of Romney, figuring he’ll outsource just about every possible job.

    Given his background, he’s a pretty bad pick for the Republicans when it comes to the employment issue.

  39. gVOR08 says:

    @Console: I think you guys are arguing about the difference between the cause and the trigger. Brad DeLong, among many others, makes the point that the system should have been able to easily absorb the collapse of the housing bubble, and was expected to. It didn’t because the financial system was hugely over leveraged. The financial system had built a huge, rickety house of cards, and the housing market sneezed.