One of the memes from the left regarding Mitt Romney is that he just doesn't understand the middle class. Now we don't if that is indeed the case but we do know one thing (if Politico's polling is to be believed).....the Middle Class understands President Obama and prefers Mitt Romney.
We took a special look at middle-class voters, and middle-class families in particular, in this latest POLITICO-George Washington University Battleground Poll and found that not to be the case. In fact, on every measure it is Romney who is winning the battle for the support of middle-class families.
Overall, Obama leads Romney by just 3 points on the ballot (50 percent to 47 percent) – which before we rounded up, is actually a 2.6 point lead and only up a half-a-percentage point from the 2.1 point lead for Obama in our last Battleground poll in early August. In our latest POLITICO-George Washington University Battleground Poll with middle-class families, which comprise about 54 percent of the total American electorate and usually split in their vote behavior between Republicans and Democrats, Romney holds a 14-point advantage (55 percent to 41 percent).
The break out numbers are stunning.
Middle-class families are more inclined to believe the country is on the wrong track (34 percent right direction, 62 percent wrong track), are more likely to hold an unfavorable view of Obama (48 percent favorable, 51 percent unfavorable), and hold a more favorable view of Romney (51 percent favorable, 44 percent unfavorable) and Paul Ryan (46 percent favorable, 35 percent unfavorable) than the overall electorate. These middle-class families also hold a majority disapproval rating on the job Obama is doing as president (45 percent approve, 54 percent disapprove), and turn even more negative toward Obama on specific areas; the economy 56 percent disapprove; spending 61 percent disapprove; taxes, 53 percent disapprove; Medicare 48 percent disapprove; and even foreign policy 50 percent disapprove.
And this polling was done BEFORE the Benghazi Boondoggle.
All of this data make clear that Romney has won the strong support of middle-class families and is leading the president on an overwhelming majority of key measurements beyond just the ballot. In fact, when respondents were asked who, Obama or Romney, would best handle a variety of issues, Romney led on all but one including the economy (+9 percent), foreign policy (+3 percent), spending (+15 percent), taxes (+7 percent), Medicare (+2 percent), and jobs (+10 percent). Ironically, the one measurement Obama led Romney on was “standing up for the middle class” (+8 Obama), reinforcing that often the Democrats win the message war with the middle class, but not their hearts and souls.
With just over 30 days to go, and more bad news (for Team Obama) on the foreign policy and economic fronts popping up on almost a daily basis, this polling data could be great news for the Romney camp.
But whether you believe the polling is accurate or not (more on that later), the net of this poll is not good news for the President's campaign. The "middle class" tends to vote where the poor (who the President seems to be catering to lately) does not. The middle class also tends to be more independent and will easily cross party lines. These are trends that do not break in the President's favor this year. They could be the trends that break this election wide open for Romney.