Is President Obama’s newly aggressive tack against Republican nominee Mitt Romney turning off voters, particularly women?
Some pundits have speculated that may be the case as Obama has stepped up his rhetoric in debates and on the trail, but the latest Conversation Nation poll from National Journal and survey research firm Keller Fay found that’s not the case.
In recent weeks as the race has tightened, conversations about Obama have tended to be more positive than negative among women, 42 percent to 30 percent. The proportion is reversed among men, 41 percent negative chatter to 24 percent positive, reflecting Obama's problems holding on to male voters.
The quality of talk about Romney was more evenly divided. Among men, conversations were 36 percent negative and 34 percent positive, while with women, they were 40 percent negative and 35 percent positive.
Overall, nearly 40 percent of people have been talking about "the national elections" in recent weeks, nearly four times as many as in early summer. The latest poll, for the week ending Oct. 21, found talk about Obama peaked at a record 57 percent after the town hall debate on Oct. 16. Talk about Romney rose as well, but only to about 47 percent.
The groups engaging in the most conversation about the president include Democrats, African Americans and young adults, with more than 50 percent of each group talking about Obama on a daily basis. The blocs that are talking the most about Romney are Republicans and adults over 60. Affluent adults, meanwhile, are talking about both candidates regularly—53 percent about Romney and 57 percent about Obama.
National Journal and Keller Fay Group, a survey research firm, have partnered to track Americans’ online and face-to-face conversations about the 2012 presidential race. Each week, Keller Fay’s TalkTrack® research service interviews a nationally representative online sample of approximately 615 Americans ages 18 to 69 to determine which candidates and issues people are talking about and the nature of those conversations. Ed Keller and Brad Fay are coauthors of The Face-to-Face Book: Why Real Relationships Rule in a Digital Marketplace.