President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign has come under fire for its attacks on Mitt Romney’s time at Bain Capital—with several Democrats, including Bill Clinton and Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker, suggesting Obama’s focus on private equity companies could backfire.
But if a new poll of voters in key swing states is any judge, the Obama campaign is unlikely to drop its Bain strategy anytime soon.
A new Purple Strategies poll found that a plurality of voters in 12 key battleground states—Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin—are skeptical of Romney’s argument that private equity companies create jobs.
- Overall: 47 percent say “private equity hurts workers,” compared to 38 percent who say it “helps” the economy.
- Ohio, the numbers were starkest: 49 percent said private equity companies put profits over workers, compared to 33 percent who said private equity “helps” the economy. Eighteen percent said they were “not sure.”
- Florida, gap not as big, but favored Obama: 47% of those polled said private equity hurts workers, compared to 40% who said it helps the economy.
- Voters in Colorado and Virginia—were evenly split on their views of private equity. Colorado, 44% said it hurts workers, 43 percent who said it helps the economy. Virginia, 44% said it helps the economy, 42% said it hurts workers.
The poll isn’t a great sign for Romney, who has cited his work at Bain Capital as proof that he’s helped to create jobs around the country.
In their analysis of the findings, the pollsters note that Obama’s Bain strategy is a “classic wedge issue” consolidating Democrats and winning over a plurality of independent voters, 48% say private equity hurts, 38% say it helps.
Only 44 percent of Americans approve of the Supreme Court
The American public’s opinion of the Supreme Court has taken a dramatic turn for the worse over the past 25 years, according to a recent New York Times/CBS poll. Only 44 percent of Americans approve of the court’s performance, compared to more than 60 percent of Americans in the late 1980s. Meanwhile, 75 percent of the poll’s respondents say the judges’ personal politics influence their legal decisions and 60 percent say the justices should not be appointed for life.
Over the past quarter century, Americans’ general faith in public institutions has fallen, but the Supreme Court has especially lost favor. No one knows for sure what is driving the growing suspicion, but a recent spate of 5-4 decisions–where the liberal and conservative wings of the court split without compromise–may give the impression that the justices are unduly influenced by their politics and not just their fidelity to the constitution.