Much has been made of Mitt Romney‘s wealth and “out of touch” image during his election cycle. So how much is it actually affecting voters? According to a new Gallup poll, one in five independent voters said they are less likely to vote for Romney as a result of his wealth, leaving the majority — 76 percent of independents, 75 percent overall — who said it makes no difference.
The poll shows that “three-quarters of registered voters say the fact that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is worth more than $200 million makes no difference to their likelihood of voting for him.” On the other hand, 20 percent of voters said Romney’s wealth makes them less likely to vote for him. Four percent said they were more likely to.
That 20 percent figure is largely comprised of Democrats and independents, so it’s worth noting that the Democrats are less likely to vote for Romney regardless.
The Obama campaign is focusing on Romney’s wealth in an attempt to position him as the candidate whose policies will benefit the wealthy and increase the gap between rich and poor — juxtaposed against Obama’s positioning as the candidate who will do more for the middle class. Most Americans claim Romney’s wealth will not affect their vote, perhaps reflecting Gallup research showing that the majority of Americans believe the U.S. benefits from having a rich class and would themselves like to be rich. Still, enough Americans generally and independents specifically say Romney’s wealth makes them less likely to vote for him that it could in theory make a difference at the margins in some key swing states.
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