President Barack Obama and Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney are essentially tied in a hypothetical general election matchup. Still, Obama’s support is stronger and more positive than Romney’s.
That’s according to a Fox News poll released Monday.
In a potential Obama-Romney election, 46 percent of voters would back Obama and 45 percent Romney if the election were held today. The president’s narrow advantage is well within the poll’s three percentage-point margin of sampling error.
And behind those numbers is a striking contrast: 74 percent of Obama backers say they are voting “for” him rather than “against Romney” (21 percent). Yet for Romney, his support is mainly anti-Obama. Fifty-eight percent of Romney voters say they would be voting “against Obama” rather than “for Romney” (33 percent).
Each candidate receives strong backing from their party faithful. Eighty-eight percent of Democrats back Obama, and 86 percent of Republicans support Romney.
Independents break for Romney by 43-38 percent.
Overall, more voters are “very” confident in Obama’s ability (26 percent) to make the right decisions for the country than feel that way about Romney (16 percent).
On the other hand more voters are either “very” or “somewhat” confident in Romney’s decision-making (59 percent), than Obama’s (54 percent “very” or “somewhat” confident).
All in all, 51 percent of voters have a favorable opinion of Obama and 46 percent unfavorable. For Romney, 45 percent view him favorably and 38 percent unfavorably.
Romney’s venture capitalist background is viewed positively by a majority of voters. By a 54-30 percent margin, more voters think it is a “good thing” for a candidate to have that kind of financial experience and knowledge rather than a “bad thing” because the candidate would be too close to Wall Street and the greed that caused the financial collapse.