AFL-CIO Battleground Polling
October 22, 2012
Bob Levine Washington DC Bureau
According to an AFL-CIO internal poll conducted on Wednesday, October 17, working class voters in the battleground states of Ohio, Wisconsin and Nevada overwhelmingly trust President Barack Obama over Governor Mitt Romney and believe the President is better suited to handle the economy and protect programs such as Medicare and Social Security. The poll surveyed a random sample of 454 union members and 433 non-union members who have been contacted by the AFL-CIO or Workers’ Voice regarding the election. The survey also shows a distinct difference between general public voters and those who have been contacted by the AFL-CIO.
The main takeaways are below.
1) President Obama is connecting with voters while Governor Romney struggles.
- People surveyed believe that President Obama has a better understanding of their everyday struggles than Mitt Romney by 54 percent to 16 percent among union members and 50 percent to 20 percent among non-union members;
- Sixty-two percent to 14 percent of union members and 52 percent to 20 percent of non-union members believe President Obama cares more about the middle class than Wall Street;
- Three-quarters of both union and non-union voters knew about Mitt Romney’s 47 percent comments and two-thirds think they reflect his true views.
2) President Obama is far more trusted than Mitt Romney to handle both economic and social issues.
- When asked who you trust to do a better job handling the economy, 62 percent to 27 percent of union members and 48 percent to 39 percent of non-union members say President Obama;
- On Medicaid: 63 percent to 22 percent of union members and 53 percent to 31percent of non-union members say President Obama;
- On Medicare: 65 percent to 24 percent of union members and 55 percent to 32 percent of non-union members say President Obama.
3) Big margins on taxes, economic and social programs create opportunities for President Obama and dangers for Mitt Romney.
- When asked if they support raising taxes on those earning $250k:72 percent to 24 percent of union members and 66 percent to 26 percent of non-union members say yes;
- When asked if they support cutting Social Security: only 8 percent to 86 percent of union members, and 10 percent to 85 percent non-union members say yes
- Majorities believe Medicare should stay as it is and not change to a public/private hybrid system: 68 percent to 21 percent of union members and 64 percent to 24 percent of non-union members;
- Vast majorities said the government should focus on job creation over reducing the federal debt: 68 percent to 14 percent of union members and 66 percent to 18 percent of non-union members;
- Sixty-nine percent to 22 percent of union members and 63 percent to 26 percent of non-union members think the bailout of Chrysler and GM was a good thing.