This is a cross-post from the AFL-CIO Now Blog
The latest polls show a close race between President Obama and Mitt Romney. But working family voters—union and nonunion—who have been contacted by the labor movement’s voter outreach program, overwhelmingly believe that President Obama is far more in tune with their needs and is vastly more trusted to handle the economy and social issues, such as Social Security and Medicare, according to a new poll.
The poll of working-class voters was conducted Oct. 17 among 454 union members and 433 nonunion workers in Nevada, Ohio and Wisconsin. All the poll respondents had been contacted during the election season either by the AFL-CIO or Workers’ Voice about the election and the key issues.
In a telephone press conference this morning, AFL-CIO Political Director Mike Podhorzer said the poll numbers show that when voters are informed about the issues, either through door knocks, phone calls, worksite visits or mail, they come down firmly on the president’s side and “Romney’s policies are extraordinarily unpopular.”
The simple fact is that they believe President Obama is on their side and Mitt Romney isn’t. They believe President Obama favors a policy that is going to rebuild the middle class and Mitt Romney is favoring the same old policies that got us into the horrible economic calamity.
People surveyed believe that Obama has a better understanding of their everyday struggles than Mitt Romney by 54% to 16% among union members and 50% to 20% among nonunion workers.
When asked, “Who do you trust to do a better job handling the economy?” 62% to 27% of union members and 48% to 39% of nonunion workers said Obama. There were similar trust factor numbers for who they trusted to protect Medicare—65% to 24% of union members and 55% to 32% of nonunion workers said Obama. For Medicaid, 63% to 22% of union members and 53% to 31% of nonunion workers said Obama.
They were asked if they supported letting the Bush tax cuts expire for those making more than $250,000 a year—something Romney opposes and Obama supports—and 72% to 24% of union members and 66% to 26% of nonunion workers said they supported letting the upper-income tax cuts expire.