Gallup Asks About 'Greatest Strength' of Romney, Obama; 3% Say 'Good Liar'

October 29, 2012 - 5:01 AM

Obama-Romney debate

President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney talk after their first campaign debate, in Denver on Oct. 3, 201. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

(CNSNews.com) - Never mind whom you're voting for: The Gallup pollsters asked 1,065 registered voters, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, to identify the "greatest strength" of President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

The candidates broke even on one dubious attribute: "Being a good liar/Can lie with a straight face." Three percent of those polled chose that as the greatest strength of Obama, and 3 percent said that about Romney.

One in four Americans either did not name a strength -- or could not think of one -- for Obama (25 percent) or for Romney (32 percent).

Of those who could, or would, answer the question, Obama's greatest strength was seen as excellent speaking and communication skills (11 percent chose that attribute), followed by "helping the less fortunate/being "for the people" (10 percent). In addition to those mentioning Obama's speaking skills and care for the less fortunate, 7 percent mentioned his good personality, 6 percent said he is levelheaded or determined, and 5 percent each said he is honest/has integrity or is a strong leader.

Sixteen percent of respondents praised Romney for being a "good businessman" and being "good at handling finances/budgets" (4 percent). Eleven percent cited Romney's economic policies. The top personal qualities voters named for Romney are having a fresh approach and new ideas (5 percent), being honest/having integrity (3 percent), and having leadership/strength/determination (3 percent).

Two percent cited Romney for being a "family man," and 2 percent cited him for being "religious." Neither of those qualities shows up in Obama's column.

Obama was credited for his grasp of foreign affairs/foreign policy (4 percent) and stopping the wars/bringing troops home (2 percent). Neither of those "strengths" shows up in Romney's column.

In total, 47 percent of respondents named some aspect of Obama's character as his top strength, compared with 23 percent naming a character trait for Romney.

A combined 23 percent cited Romney's experience, including his business and political experience. That contrasts with 9 percent citing the incumbent president's experience.

The Gallup question -- part of its Oct 22-23 daily tracking -- was open-ended, meaning that Gallup did not put words in people's mouths. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 points.