New Polls Show Majority of Americans Don’t Like Romney’s “47 Percent” Remarks

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Memo to Mitt Romney: The majority of Americans do not agree with you that the 47 percent of Americans who don’t pay federal income taxes are Obama-voting government mooches who believe they’re “victims” and won’t take responsibility for their own lives.

That’s a key takeaway from two new national polls from Bloomberg News and the Washington Post-ABC News. The Bloomberg poll asked respondents for their reaction to Romney’s 47 percent remark. Fifty-one percent said Romney is “wrong and most Americans work hard and sometimes need some help from the government.” Forty-one percent said Romney is “right and more people should be able to make it on their own.” (Eight percent said they weren’t sure.)

Romney fared worse in the Post-ABC News poll. Fifty-four percent reacted negatively to his 47 percent remarks, while 32 percent reacted positively. The partisan split on the 47 percent line is fairly predictable: More than 75 percent disliked the remarks, and two-thirds of Republicans agreed with Romney. What’s most notable, perhaps, is how those coveted independent voters felt about the 47 percent claim: 57 percent of indies felt negatively while just 27 percent saw them favorably.

The Washington Post‘s Jon Cohen points out that the backlash to Romney’s 47 percent statement coincides with an uptick in voters’ negative views of Romney and his campaign. Sixty-one percent of those polled hold a negative view of how Romney’s running his campaign. “That number,” Cillizza writes, “is up significantly from July—the near-certain result of the much-publicized comments by Romney.”

In case you missed it, you can watch the full Romney fundraiser video—including the 47 percent comments—here.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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