Poll: Voters Know Enough About Candidates


Mitt Romney speaks at the Associated Builders and Contractors National Board of Directors meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, February 23, 2012.

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(CNN)– President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney are spending millions on television ads presenting their platforms, but a poll released Tuesday suggests most voters feel they know enough already about each man vying for the White House.

The Pew Research Center poll indicated 90% of registered voters nationwide already feel they know what they need to about Obama, who has been in office since January 2009. Sixty-nine percent say they know enough about Romney, who ran for the GOP nomination in 2008 and formally launched his 2012 campaign in June 2011.

Those numbers compare to the 8% of registered voters who said they need to learn more about Obama, and the 28% who need to learn more about Romney.

Among that group who want to learn more about the presumptive GOP nominee, 41% said they wanted more information about his record as governor of Massachusetts, while 36% wanted information about his personal income tax returns and 35% wanted more information about his tenure as chief executive of Bain Capital.

All three of those issues have been targets of the Obama campaign, which has claimed at various points in the campaign that Romney shipped jobs overseas as a businessman, hurt jobs growth as governor, and concealed relevant information from voters by only releasing two years of income tax information.

When broken down, more Republican voters than Democrats say they want to learn more about Romney. Thirty four percent of Republicans say they need to learn more about the candidate, compared to 21% of Democrats who feel the same way. Three-in-ten independents want to learn more about Romney.

Democrats, however, are more likely to want to learn more about Romney’s tax returns. Fifty-six percent said they wanted more tax information, compared to 35% of independents and 18% of Republicans.

Romney has released his tax return from 2010 and an estimate for 2011. He has vowed to release the full tax return from last year when it’s finalized by his accountant. He requested a filing extension from the Internal Revenue Service in April.

The Pew Research Poll was conduced by telephone July 19-22 among 1,001 adults, including 798 registered voters. The sampling error was plus or minus 4 percentage points.

By Kevin Liptak

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