A new CNN poll released today found that 63% of respondents and 61% of registered voters thought that Mitt Romney should release his tax returns.
The CNN/ORC poll asked Americans and registered voters whether or not Mitt Romney should release more than two years of tax returns. By a margin of 63%-36%, those polled felt that Romney should release more tax returns. Among registered voters, the result was a similar 61%-37% split.
What is remarkable about popular opinion on Romney’s tax returns is the across the board agreement that he should release more years. Sixty four percent of men and 63% of women agree that Romney should release more tax returns. By a margin of 55%-43%, white voters think Romney should release more returns. Non-white voters overwhelmingly (81%-19%) want Romney to release more tax returns.
A majority of every age group polled, from 18-34 year olds (76%) to those 65+ (53%) want to see more tax returns released. Both college grads (62%) and non-college grads (64%) think Romney should release more tax returns. Every region of the country from the Northeast (71%) to South (59%) through the Midwest (63%) and West (59%) wants Romney to release more.
Even though Romney won the Republican nomination by convincing members of his party that he could capture Independents, Independent voters have largely turned against him, and they are especially interested in his tax returns. More than two thirds of Independents (67%) want Mitt Romney to release more tax returns.
The only groups standing with Romney and saying he should not release his tax returns are Republicans (70%), conservatives (53%), and tea partiers (71%). Democrats (86%), liberals (89%), and moderates (65%) all believe Romney should release more years of tax returns.
Mitt Romney’s I’ve released what’s legally required song and dance isn’t cutting it with voters. His refusal to release additional years tax returns is feeding into a perception that he is a candidate by, of, and for the rich. Sixty four percent of those polled thought that Romney favored the rich, while 76% of respondents thought Obama favored the middle class and the poor.
The Romney campaign keeps trying to ride out the storm to avoid releasing his tax returns, but the American people aren’t letting go of this issue. Democrats actually gain popularity when they talk about Romney’s tax returns. Despite Republicans calling him a liar, Sen. Harry Reid has gained a net 5 points in his approval rating since he began demanding that Romney release more years of tax returns.
Mitt Romney still hasn’t learned that he is not the CEO of this country. When the American people ask for more years of tax returns during the job interview process, you can’t say no if you really want to be president.
Romney is applying to work for the American people. We do not work for him. Voters want to see more than one year’s worth of tax returns, and if Romney won’t produce them, they’ll reelect Barack Obama instead of the guy who obviously doesn’t care about what they want.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association