Mitt Romney remains in a virtual tie with President Obama, but Americans no longer believe he would manage the nation’s economic recovery better than the incumbent, according to a national poll published Tuesday.
A survey by The Washington Post and ABC News showed Obama with a slim overall lead over the presumptive Republican nominee, 49 percent to 46 percent among registered voters. The 3-point gap was within the poll’s margin of error and was consistent with those of other recent polls showing the two candidates in a dead heat.
But the new poll also showed Romney and Obama tied at 47 percent on the economy, an issue Romney has dominated in earlier surveys. For more than a week, the Obama campaign has aggressively challenged Romney’s assertion that he is an economic Mr. Fix It, attacking his record as the head of Bain Capital, a private equity firm.
“If your main argument for how to grow the economy is, ‘I knew how to make a lot of money for investors,’ then you’re missing what this job is about,’’ the president said Monday. “My job is to take into account everybody, not just some.’’
In a strategy used against Romney in previous elections, the Obama campaign has aired ads featuring laid-off workers once employed by companies Bain Capital used to own. The workers accuse Romney and his firm of raiding their businesses and profiting handsomely, even as they lost jobs, benefits and pensions.
The president also is successfully making the case that he is not to blame for the state of the economy, the poll showed. Forty-eight percent of voters said former President George W. Bush is more responsible than Obama; 35 percent said the opposite.
Despite going negative, Obama has kept his advantage over Romney in personal qualities, according to the poll. Fifty-two percent of respondents said Obama “has the better moral character to serve as president,” compared to 38 percent who said the same of Romney. The president also holds an 8-point edge when it comes to “understanding the economic problems people in this country are having.”Callum Borchers can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @callumborchers.