Mitt Romney's wealth has made him a target of the Obama team's "Eat the Rich" campaign, but how is Mitt perceived by ordinary voters?
Three-quarters of registered voters say the fact that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is worth more than $200 million makes no difference to their likelihood of voting for him. However, 20% of voters, mostly Democrats and independents, say Romney's wealth makes them less likely to vote for him, while 4% say it makes them more likely.
The Obama campaign has targeted Romney's wealth in recent weeks, stressing his net worth and how he earned it as head of Bain Capital, where he has invested it, and the fact that he has not released all of his tax returns from the last decade. Obama's campaign is apparently using Romney's wealth in its efforts to convince voters that Romney is not as well-equipped as Obama to understand the problems and needs of middle- and lower-class Americans. The Romney campaign has pushed back, stressing that voters are more interested in fixing the economy than in the candidates' personal financial situations.
Gallup's July 9-10 results show that most Americans say Romney's wealth does not matter. Those who say it does make a difference tilt five to one toward saying it makes them less likely, rather than more likely, to vote for him for president.
Most of the 37% of Democratic voters who say Romney's wealth is a negative are unlikely to vote for him to begin with. Gallup's latest demographic analysis shows that 89% of Democratic registered voters prefer Obama, compared with 6% supporting Romney.
This is very encouraging for Romney. Americans have always looked up to successful people and while the super rich -- like the Rockefellers and DuPonts -- have always been suspect when they enter politics, they've had little trouble getting elected.
This is more evidence that Obama's class warfare rhetoric is designed more to fire up his base than hurt Romney with other voters.