Independents Like Obama But Favor Opportunity Over Fairness

Independents are likely to be crucial in deciding whether Barack Obama secures a second term in the White House or whether his likely GOP challenger Mitt Romney ousts him. A new poll released today and conducted for the moderate Democratic Third Way think tank suggests that Obama is sitting pretty when it comes to independents in battleground states. Fifty-seven percent of swing independents view the President favorably compared to 41 percent being inclined to Romney.

Further good news for the Democrats comes when the pollsters drill down on the economy. The two parties are in a statistical tie when it comes to whom independents trust to manage the economy; and on taxes, traditionally a GOP strength, Obama has a six point lead over the Republcians.

But the President’s support is soft. A key finding generally is that swing independents are concerned with opportunity more than fairness. According to Third Way co-founder Jim Kessler, “What they’re really worried about is the country slipping. They’re not sure their family is going to reach the heights they expected. They’re relatively sure China will have the world’s leading economy in 15 years. They’re looking for someone to answer that.”

And the President doesn’t so that when he stresses fairness more than opportunity. It is something the Republican group Amrerican Crossroads has picked up on. It plans to launch an ad blitz  and according to one of the organization’s strategists, Steven Law, the spots will go softly on the President to avoid offending independents with too much negativity but will question whether Obama is up to the job of fixing America.