(NEW YORK) — Two of Mitt Romney’s key campaign proposals fall short of majority approval, according to the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, with swing-voting independents especially cool on his plan to repeal health care reform and evenly divided on his offer of a hefty tax cut.
Trimming taxes does better overall. Among all Americans, 48 percent of those surveyed express a favorable opinion of Romney’s proposal to reduce federal tax rates by 20 percent, while 39 percent see it unfavorably. His call to repeal the Obama health care law, for its part, gets a 40-40 split.
Neither proposal earns majority support in this poll, putting Romney in a similar bind as President Obama, with results that mark both candidates’ difficulties breaking beyond partisan and ideological boundaries to marshal majorities for their positions.
Independents, customarily a critical voting group in presidential elections, respond more unfavorably than favorably to Romney’s support for repealing the health care law, 47-33 percent. As noted, they only split evenly, 43-42 percent, favorable-unfavorable, on a tax plan.
Romney’s net score on taxes is similar to Obama’s — reported last week — on the auto industry bailout seen favorably by a 7-point margin; Obama also is +5 on greater regulation of financial institutions (albeit in a poll done before the JPMorgan derivative debacle).
Obama gets an even split both on his economic stimulus program and on gay marriage, much like responses to Romney’s proposed repeal of health care reform (albeit, in this case, with more undecided.)
There is, naturally, a political aspect to these opinions.
In an ABC/Post poll in March, Americans by 55-37 percent said they’d rather have the Supreme Court entirely reject the health care law than entirely uphold it. This poll, produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates, though, adds the direct partisan element of asking favorable or unfavorable views of Romney’s proposal to repeal the law. The 40-40 percent split on that question suggests that some are more ill-disposed toward Romney than they are toward the law.
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