Voters Handout Campaign Grades

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Oct. 2 2012 9:23 AM

Obama Won't Need To Tell the Audience About Romney's 47-Percent Remarks (But Will Anyway)

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Mitt Romney arrives to speak during a campaign rally at the Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum in Denver on Monday

Photo by Jewel Samad/AFP/GettyImages.

If/when (we're guessing when) President Obama makes either a direct or indirect mention of Mitt Romney's now-viral "47 percent" quote during tomorrow's debate, chances are that those watching at home won't need the back story.

A new poll out this week from the Pew Research Center found that 67 percent of voters had heard about the secretly-taped remarks in which the GOP hopeful suggested that nearly half of Americans see themselves as "victims." Of those that were aware of the quote and knew who said it, 55 percent had a negative reaction while 23 percent had a positive one. The remaining 22 percent either didn't know what to think or said it didn't change their opinion one way or the other.

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About half of those voters (49 percent) who knew of the comments, however, say that the taped remarks have gotten too much coverage in the media. Thirteen percent said they were given too little, while the remaining 28 percent thought the media in general had given the comments the appropriate amount of coverage.

One other interesting nugget from the Pew poll comes from a question asking respondents to grade the campaigns: Self-identified Democrats gave Obama's campaign noticeably higher marks than Republicans gave Romney's. Seventy-eight percent of Democrats gave the Obama campaign either an A or a B, while 62 percent of Republicans said the same about their candidate's campaign. Independents, meanwhile, thought better of Obama's campaign than Romney's, with 42 percent giving the president an A or a B, compared to 26 percent who gave the same high marks to the challenger.

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

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