(Week of 3/3/2012) President Barack Obama continues to lead all his Republican challengers in the latest Economist/YouGov Poll when it comes to voter choice in the fall election, but there are some qualities where GOP contenders earn higher ratings than the President – especially on the question of experience.
Experience has always been a concern about the President: more than three years into his term, just 18% of adults say they would use the word "experienced" to describe Barack Obama, while a third would not. 30% of adults would describe former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, the current GOP frontrunner, as experienced and only 9% would not.
Among GOP primary voters, 59% describe Romney as "experienced," more than see former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum that way. Only 37% of Democratic voters describe President Obama as "experienced."
The two Republicans are also more often viewed as "religious" than the President is. More than half would use that word about Santorum, and 38% would describe Romney that way, while only 17% would call the President "religious."
Asked directly how important religion is to the GOP candidates, nearly half the country say it’s "very important" to Santorum, and more than a third think that about Romney. Far fewer think that about the President or the other two GOP contenders. When it comes to the respondent’s own lives, 38% say religion is very important to them.
Majorities of GOP voters call Romney "experienced," "intelligent," "patriotic" and "religious." Most also see Santorum as "patriotic" and "religious." In addition, GOP voters also see Santorum as "honest" and "sincere" (not adjectives most use for Romney).
Photo source: Press Association