Memorandum: June Monitor Survey

June 11, 2012

Date: June 11, 2012

To: Public Notice

From: The Tarrance Group

Re: June Monitor Survey

The Tarrance Group is pleased to present Public Notice with the key findings from a survey of “likely” voters throughout the country.  The survey was conducted via telephone June 3-7, 2012, among N=800 registered “likely” voters. 

Key Findings 

The presidential ballot test is tied among likely voters, with 46% supporting Mitt Romney and 47% supporting Barack Obama.   President Obama’s approval rating is similar to the ballot, with 49% approving and 46% disapproving of his job performance. 

Voters continue to hold mainly negative views of the country’s direction and financial situation.  A majority (59%) say the country is on the wrong track, and only 28% say the economy is getting better.   Voters are divided on whether the economy is getting worse (37%) or staying about the same (35%).   A plurality of Independents (42%) and undecided voters (45%) say the economy is getting worse.

Other key groups in which a plurality believe the economy is getting worse are the self-employed (48%), unemployed (46%), high school graduates (40%), and households with children (41%).

Economic issues are highly important to voters, with an overwhelming majority saying issues such as government spending (77%), job creation (86%), the U.S. debt level (79%) and health care costs (77%) are extremely or very important for Washington to tackle.

Nearly two thirds (63%) of voters say they are following news on the federal debt limit extremely (33%) or very (30%) closely, while 25% are following it somewhat closely.  Only 10% of voters are following the debt limit news “not at all closely.”  The percentage of voters following the debt limit news “extremely” closely is significantly higher among Republicans (40%) than Independents (33%) and Democrats (27%).

A plurality (49%) of voters want the Supreme Court to overturn President Obama’s health care law, while 41% want it upheld.  Only 10% of voters are unsure.  While 44% strongly want the law overturned, only 34% strongly want it upheld.  Nearly nine in ten (88%) Republicans and a majority (52%) of Independents want the law overturned, while three-quarters (76%) of Democrats want it upheld.

Voters are paying less attention to the economic news from Europe than they are to the debt ceiling, with 51% following the news extremely (18%) or very (33%) closely, 28% following it somewhat closely, and 18% following it “not at all closely.”  However, an overwhelming 71% of voters say that Europe’s economic problems are having a negative impact on the U.S. economy.   

While voters believe the U.S. is negatively impacted by the economic problems of Europe, they also see a connection between the state of the U.S. economy, the actions of Washington and their own personal financial situation:

  • A majority (53%) say the federal government hurts economic growth, and a larger majority (70%) say the health of the U.S. economy is extremely or very impacted by the size of the federal debt.
  • On a personal level, two thirds (65%) say that their family budget is negatively impacted by the state of the U.S. economy.  Households with children are particularly feeling the impact of the economy.  Seven in ten (70%) say their family budget is negatively impacted by the state of the economy, and the percentage reaches 72% among women with children. 
  • Roughly eight in ten (79%) say the cost of their “everyday items” has gone up in the past year, and a similar percentage (74%) expect these same costs to increase over the next year.  At the same time, about three-quarters (73%) say the federal government has the power to control the cost of living.

A majority (60%) of American voters do NOT expect to take a vacation this summer, with majorities saying that the U.S. economy (64%) and gas prices (73%) have a major or minor impact on their decision to travel or stay at home. 

Click here to view our polling infographic.

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