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What the Fox Poll Shows

11:55 AM, Jul 8, 2012 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
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I've gotten several inquiries about the poll numbers I cited this morning on Fox News Sunday.

obama and romney

I was referring to the Fox News poll of 912 registered voters conducted June 24-26. Asked, "Do you think Barack Obama has a clear plan for improving the economy, or not?," 41 percent answered yes, 53 percent no. Asked the same question about Mitt Romney, the response was 27 percent yes, 55 percent no. In other words, Obama was at -12 percent, Romney -28 percent. An advantage for Obama.

Here's one clue that this question may be significant in guiding voters' ultimate decision on the ballot. Fox asked a very similar question two months before. In that April 22-24 poll, the results for Obama and Romney were about even: Obama was at 36 - 61 percent (-25 percent) vs. Romney at 31 - 58 percent (-27 percent). Sure enough, in the April poll, Obama and Romney were tied in the ballot test, 46 - 46 percent. In the late June poll, by contrast, Obama was leading Romney 45 - 40 percent.

In other words: Romney seems to lose voters who are open to supporting him when they don't think he has a clear plan for improving the economy. The bad news is that Romney has lost ground on that criterion in the last couple of months. The good news is that it shouldn't be that hard a problem to fix.  

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