As I have argued repeatedly over the years, presidential elections often pivot as much on the matter of the candidates’ likability as on their positions on policy issues. That’s one of the reasons why Ronald Reagan easily won re-election in 1984 despite an unemployment rate above 7 percent.
And on that personality score, President Obama enjoys an enormous lead — 64 percentage points to 26 — over presumptive Republican challenger Mitt Romney, according to the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll.
The poll also shows Obama leading Romney on such issues as protecting the middle class (10 percentage points), creating jobs (3 points), handling international affairs (17 points), supporting small business (2 points), handling taxes (3 points), dealing with health-care policy (10 points), handling terrorism (7 points), dealing with social issues such as
abortion and gay marriage (8 points) and addressing women’s issues (19 points).
The poll shows that 50 percent of respondents approve of Obama’s overall job-performance record while 45 percent disapprove.
In a hypothetical matchup with Romney in the November election, Obama leads 51-43.
The poll numbers are HERE.