In the broadening fight for voters in the political middle road, a fast-growing number of Americans consider President Obama's views as extreme, especially men, Christians and older voters, according to a new Rasmussen Reports poll. A majority view Mitt Romney as mainstream.
Those who view Obama as an extremist has surged seven points since May, a potentially troubling political turn as both he and Romney begin reaching out to independent voters. For his part, only 31 percent of likely voters polled June 29-30 saw Romney as extreme, virtually unchanged from a month ago, said Rasmussen.
For two months, those who view Obama as extreme has increased, reaching 47 percent in the latest poll. Just 43 percent consider the president in the mainstream.
Likely impacting the poll was the recent Supreme Court decision endorsing Obamacare and the associated debate over taxes as well as the president's backing of gay marriage and decision to stop deporting the children of illegal immigrants.
Not surprisingly, Democrats consider Romney's views extreme while Republicans say Obama's are extreme. But, Rasmussen said, "while 80% of Republicans feel Obama's views are extreme, only 52% of Democrats say the same of Romney's. Voters not affiliated with either major party are evenly divided when it comes to Obama's political views but consider Romney's views mainstream by a 45% to 31% margin."
What's more, he reported, "Voters see the 2012 presidential candidates as offering a choice between the political left and right. But they view the president as more committed to the left than Romney is to the right," a finding endorsed by many conservative leaders who still aren't excited by their presidential candidate.
There were two other worrisome findings for Obama in the new poll. First, voters trust Romney more when it comes to the economy and taxes. And most voters for the first time said that the GOP has a plan for the future, but are divided over whether the Democrats do. That finding is backed up by comments from Democrats in recent interviews who have told Secrets that they are worried Obama has failed to lay out a second-term agenda for voters to embrace.