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The George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management Survey Finds that President Obama’s Campaign Wins Third Week in a Row

Seventy-Nine Percent Find Governor Romney’s comments about ‘47 Percent of Americans Dependent on Government’ Highly/Rather Significant to Race
September 25, 2012

202-994-6466; [email protected]
David Rehr
202-510-2148; [email protected]


WASHINGTON – On Tuesday, Sept. 25, the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management (GSPM) released the seventh installment of its weekly Horse Race poll, which found that President Obama’s campaign bested Gov. Romney’s campaign for the third week in a row.

Top findings for the week ending Sunday, Sept. 23, include:

  • Momentum stayed with the Obama campaign, which “won” the previous week for the third straight time.
  • Twenty-nine percent of insiders thought President Obama’s comments about ‘redistribution of wealth’ as rather/highly insignificant to race; 37 percent thought it was neither significant nor insignificant to the race.
  • Seventy-nine percent thought Governor Romney’s ‘47 percent of Americans being dependent on government’ was highly/rather significant to the campaign; 15 percent thought the comments were neither significant nor insignificant; only six percent thought it was rather insignificant.

Full survey results for the week ending Sunday, Sept. 23, are as follows:

Rate the prior week’s performance (1- Very Ineffective, 5 – Very Effective)

Mitt Romney’s PERSONAL PERFORMANCE as a Presidential candidate


Barack Obama’s PERSONAL PERFORMANCE as a Presidential candidate


Mitt Romney’s presidential CAMPAIGN OPERATION


Barack Obama’s presidential CAMPAIGN OPERATION




Which presidential campaign “won” the previous week?

Romney Campaign            

06 percent

Obama Campaign  

82 percent


12 percent


00 percent

Don’t know

00 percent


What was the pivotal moment of the campaign in the previous week?

Select Comments

Democrat Insider: “Romney continued his series of gaffes, controversies and lousy polls.  The secret video may be the worst of them, but it almost doesn't matter.  What matters is that it was another week Romney spent playing defense and losing ground in the campaign.”

Republican Insider: “The release of the secret ‘47 percent’ tape of Romney at an earlier fundraiser, while in many cases taken out of context, was fairly damaging to his "show he's in touch with the people" strategy.”

Non-Affiliated Insider: “The video of Mitt Romney speaking to wealthy supporters about the 47 percent of Obama supporters who are dependent on government was a huge turning point in the campaign that will be very difficult for Romney to recover from.”

What advice would you give either of the presidential campaign’s based on the performance of last week (please indicate either Obama or Romney at the beginning of your answer)?

Select Comments

Democrat Insider: ”ROMNEY: Do something, anything. Make a giant, bold move. Put out a controversial policy. Make a wild attack. Anything to pull yourself out of the campaign death spiral you are currently in.”

Republican Insider: ”ROMNEY - Good move releasing your tax returns, as it finally forced the ‘47 percent’ story off the front pages.  You need to pivot back to the economy next week, as economic news will be released.” 

Democrat Insider: ”OBAMA and his supporters: Do not become complacent. Keep working, keep volunteering, keep donating. Not only is retaining the Presidency well in sight for Democrats, but so is retaining control of the Senate.” 

Republican Insider: ”ROMNEY: Shift from broad themes (create jobs, help small businesses, etc.) to a bit more detail, like I will do ‘x’ to create jobs.  It doesn't have to be wonky, but it needs to be a bit more HOW in the messaging.”

Non-Affiliated Insider: “OBAMA: Obama needs to continue talking about the specifics of his economic plan that are in place and helping the recovery, focusing on the items that will help strengthen the middle class. Let Romney continue to dig the hole that his campaign is in.”

The GSPM Horse Race is an aggregated, weekly measure of the opinions of graduate students, alumni, full-time faculty and adjunct professors at GSPM. The results are not intended to be representative of any larger population. The responses have been weighted to ensure that they are balanced politically, by equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans. The comments provided are from survey participants.  The survey results are released weekly and are available on the GSPM website [link].

GW's Graduate School of Political Management, the pioneer school in the nonpartisan study of political management and applied politics, offers graduate programs in political management, legislative affairs, public relations and PAC management, as well as international programs in Latin America and Europe. The school educates students and professionals in the tools, principles and values of participatory democracy; preparing them for careers as ethical and effective advocates and leaders at the international, national and local levels.