New Nationwide Poll Shows Voters Want Candidates to Focus on Manufacturing, Infrastructure

Obama narrowly leads on infrastructure, Romney narrowly on manufacturing issue
No major candidate rates strongly
A new nationwide poll shows that most voters want this year’s presidential candidates to take stronger positions on both manufacturing and infrastructure issues.
The nonpartisan Clarus Poll found that 70% of the national electorate would be more inclined to vote for a presidential candidate with a strong position on America’s manufacturing industries and jobs while a solid 65% also said they’d be more inclined to vote for a candidate with a strong position on rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure.
“It’s not surprising that the majority of American voters want a president who will fiercely support U.S. manufacturing and a 21st century infrastructure,” said AEM President Dennis Slater. “What is surprising is how poorly the candidates are doing at making a commitment to voters to support these issues, which would immediately create jobs and allow us to compete globally.”
The poll found that most voters don’t think any of the presidential candidates have been particularly strong on these issues. Among all voters, only Mitt Romney is rated more positively than negatively (albeit narrowly) on the manufacturing issue (+2). All of the other candidates have negative ratings higher than their positive ratings on this issue: Obama -18, Gingrich -8, Santorum -4, Paul -17.
Among all voters, only Barack Obama is rated more positively than negatively (albeit narrowly) on the infrastructure issue (+1). All of the other candidates have negative ratings higher than their positive ratings on this issue: Romney -9, Gingrich -19, Santorum -12, and Paul -17.
“Creating manufacturing jobs and rebuilding infrastructure are both very important issues for voters,” said Dr. Ron Faucheux, president of Clarus Research Group. “Based on these poll results, presidential candidates would be wise to focus much more attention on them.”
About the poll:
The survey was conducted for the Association of Equipment Manufacturers by Clarus Research Group, a nonpartisan survey research firm based in Washington, D.C. The poll was conducted January 16-18, 2012, by live telephone interviews via landlines and cell phones with a random, scientific sample of 1,000 self-identified registered voters. Margin of error is +/- 3.1 percent. The following questions were asked in this order. Other than sample screening questions to select self-identified registered voters, there were no other questions asked in the survey prior to the following:
QUESTIONS ASKED AND TOPLINE RESULTS:
1. If a presidential candidate has a very strong position on strengthening America’s manufacturing industries and creating more manufacturing jobs… would that make you much more inclined to vote for that candidate, somewhat more inclined to vote for that candidate, somewhat less inclined to vote for that candidate, much less inclined to vote for that candidate, or would it not affect your vote?
• Much more inclined 36%
• Somewhat more inclined 34%
• Somewhat less inclined 1%
• Much less inclined 1%
• Wouldn’t affect vote 24%
• Don’t know/no answer 4%
2. If a presidential candidate has a very strong position on rebuilding America’s infrastructure––including roads, bridges, flood control, drainage and water systems would that make you much more inclined to vote for that candidate, somewhat more inclined to vote for that candidate, somewhat less inclined to vote for that candidate, much less inclined to vote for that candidate, or would it not affect your vote?
• Much more inclined 31%
• Somewhat more inclined 34%
• Somewhat less inclined 5%
• Much less inclined 3%
• Wouldn’t affect vote 23%
• Don’t know/no answer 4%
3. Please rate the following presidential candidates on the issue of strengthening America’s manufacturing industries and creating more manufacturing jobs… a one rating means the candidate is very weak on this issue… a two means the candidate is fairly weak … a three means the candidate is neither weak nor strong… a four means the candidate is fairly strong… and a five means the candidate is very strong on this.

Very weakFairly weakNeither weak nor strongFairly strongVery strongDon’t know/ 
No answer
• Barack Obama33%12%18%15%12%10%
• Newt Gingrich22%12%23%18%8%17%
• Mitt Romney12%13%29%19%8%19%
• Rick Santorum16%11%22%18%5%28%
• Ron Paul19%16%23%14%4%24%

4. Please rate the presidential candidates on the issue of rebuilding America’s infrastructure––including roads, bridges, flood control, drainage and water systems…a one rating means the candidate is very weak on this issue… a two means the candidate is fairly weak … a three means the candidate is neither weak nor strong… a four means the candidate is fairly strong… and a five means the candidate is very strong on this.

Very weakFairly weakNeither weak nor strongFairly strongVery strongDon’t know/ No answer
• Barack Obama25%9%18%16%19%13%
• Newt Gingrich23%14%24%13%5%21%
• Mitt Romney13%16%30%15%5%21%
• Rick Santorum16%14%25%14%4%27%
• Ron Paul19%15%23%14%3%26%

 
Source: AEM News Room