President Barack Obama has a wide lead over Republican rival Mitt Romney according to a new national poll, despite failing to convince voters he can address the deficit and turnaround the struggling economy.
According to a Bloomberg National Poll released Wednesday, Obama tops Romney 53 percent to 40 percent. The likely voters surveyed approved of the job Obama is doing overall, 53 ppercent to 44 percent, but those numbers are reversed when it comes to approval of how he's handled the economy, the top issue for voters.
But despite the president's disappointing efforts on the economic front, Romney still loses because he's viewed as more out of touch with average Americans — 55 percent of respondents said Romney was the most out of touch between the two candidates, compared to just 36 percent who tapped Obama, according to the poll. Obama was also far more trusted to deal with world leaders than Romney, as well as chosen as a better seatmate on a long flight.
Those polled also cited Romney's experience as Massachusetts governor as his best qualification for the presidency, followed by his role as CEO of Bain Capital. But likely voters were about evenly split on whether it's a good idea or bad idea to elect a CEO as president, which could be a troubling result for Romney who is banking on touting his private sector experience to woo voters.
Obama also benefitted from the fact that 49 percent of those asked said he has "laid out a better vision for a successful economic future," compared to 33 percent for Romney.
Perhaps the most critical statistic of all, 45 percent of respondents said they were better off than they were at the beginning of 2009, compared to 36 percent who said they were worse off.
The Bloomberg poll was conducted June 15-18 by Seltzer and Co. of Iowa and has a margin of error of plus or minus about 3 percent.
The wide gap between Obama and Romney overall marks a change from other recent national polling that has shown the two nearly tied. Romney, after successfully clinching the Republican nomination, had been making up ground on the president with independent voters and seeing his GOP base solidify behind him.
The results only reinforce for both campaigns their strategy of focusing on economic messages while nibbling around the edges on other issues, such as immigration, in order to sway certain key demographic voting blocs.