Role Reversal: Incumbent Is More Exciting, Inspiring And Challenger Is More Experienced, Effective

May 11, 2012, 12:00 PM GMT+0

(Week of 5/5/2012) When it comes to the personal characteristics Americans ascribe to each candidate in the race for President, the usual roles are reversed.

Even after nearly three and a half years as President, Obama is rated as experienced by 20%, not experienced by 33% (net -13). By comparison, for presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney, 36% rate him experienced, 11% not experienced (net +25), for an overall net Romney advantage of 38 points.

Of a dozen positive personal characteristics tested, Romney outscores Obama by large margins on being experienced (a net Romney advantage of 38 points), being religious (net Romney advantage of 45 points), and being patriotic (net Romney advantage of 16 points). Romney also edges Obama on being effective (net Romney advantage of 7 points).

In a role reversal, while Romney the challenger outpoints Obama the incumbent on being experienced and even effective, the incumbent outpoints the challenger on being inspiring (a net Obama advantage of 31 points) and exciting (net Obama advantage of 21 points). Obama also edges Romney on being intelligent (net Obama advantage of 17 points), sincere (16 points), honest (15 points), bold (13 points), strong (9 points) and steady (7 points).

Economist/YouGov poll archives can be found here

Photo source: Press Association