Campaign 2012: What Voters Know

Aug 13, 2012

As the presidential campaign enters its final three months, most voters say they already know what they need to know to form a clear impression of the candidates. But fewer say this about Mitt Romney than about Barack Obama. Indeed, the latest Pew Research Center knowledge survey finds that while voters know many key things about the candidates and their issue positions, voters are less familiar with Romney than with Obama.

Three-quarters of voters (75%) can correctly identify Illinois as the state Obama represented in the U.S. Senate, while 60% identify Massachusetts as the state in which Romney served as governor. Roughly six-in-ten (61%) know that Bain Capital is the company Romney once headed.

About two-thirds correctly identify Obama as the candidate who supports tax increases on income above $250,000 (68%), as well as a policy to allow young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children to remain here and apply for work permits (66%). Somewhat fewer identify Romney as the candidate who opposes same-sex marriage (60%) and who supports restricting access to abortion in most cases (54%).

Read the full report, Campaign 2012: What Voters Know, on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press website.

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