I wonder how this news will fit with the Obama camp's "Romney's out-of-touch" meme...
In its latest battleground poll, Politico found a double-digit leading trend for Mitt Romney among middle class voters:
In our latest POLITICO-George Washington University Battleground Poll with middle-class families, which comprise about 54 percent of the total American electorate and usually split in their vote behavior between Republicans and Democrats, Romney holds a 14-point advantage (55 percent to 41 percent). Middle-class families are more inclined to believe the country is on the wrong track (34 percent right direction, 62 percent wrong track), are more likely to hold an unfavorable view of Obama (48 percent favorable, 51 percent unfavorable), and hold a more favorable view of Romney (51 percent favorable, 44 percent unfavorable) and Paul Ryan (46 percent favorable, 35 percent unfavorable) than the overall electorate. These middle-class families also hold a majority disapproval rating on the job Obama is doing as president (45 percent approve, 54 percent disapprove), and turn even more negative toward Obama on specific areas; the economy 56 percent disapprove; spending 61 percent disapprove; taxes, 53 percent disapprove; Medicare 48 percent disapprove; and even foreign policy 50 percent disapprove.
Ironically, when asked which candidate voters thought would better handle a variety of issues, Romney lead Obama in all but one category: "standing up for the middle class." Politico's Republican strategists Ed Goeas and Brian Nienaber suggest this finding reinforces the idea that Democrats tend to win the messaging war, but fall short of capturing the hearts and minds of the average middle class voter.
But Democratic strategists point to President Obama's 50% approval rating to suggest that President Obama is gaining ground among independents and white men -- two groups that have largely supported Romney in this campaign. "One can see why Republicans are becoming increasingly desperate. Their attempt to frame the race as a referendum on Obama has failed," they argue.
For the complete poll results, click here.
For the Republican spin, click here.
For the Democratic spin, click here.
Overall, the poll finds Obama leading the race 50/47 among likely voters -- a statistical dead-heat within the margin of error. Other key takeaways:
--Romney now leads by 2% among independents -- 46/44. Obama won the independent vote in 2008 by 8%.
--Romney has a larger marin of victory at this point in states McCain won in 2008 than Obama does in states he won. Translation: Republicans and independents are more enthusiastic than Obama voters.
--Romney is currently leading among Catholic voters by an 8-point margin -- 51/43.