In 2000, pundits declared the presidential race to be the "Seinfeld Election" -- an election about nothing. They turned out to be wrong. But in a way, that's how Americans see this race, because they think neither President Obama nor Mitt Romney can do much about the most important issue, the economy. Plus, Latinos lean heavily toward Obama, but not because of immigration, and voters think the president abused his executive powers on Fast and Furious.
Findings: While two-thirds of Americans say the economy is poor, 60 percent of them think the winner of the presidential election will have little to no impact on the unemployment rate. And 55 percent think he'll have "just some impact" to no impact on the budget deficit.
Pollster: Associated Press/ GfK
Methodology: Survey of 1,007 adults from June 14 to June 18. The margin of error is +/- 4 percentage points.
Why it matters: The economy is supposed to be the No. 1 issue of the campaign. Neither side has convinced voters that he could actually do something to change it. Aside from presidential politics, the pessimistic results are actually cheering. Voters are actually right: the president cannot do much to change the economy, especially not right away. For once, let us applaud the American electorate for its sophistication.
Caveat: The poll finds that Republicans are more likely to think the election will affect the economy, with 58 percent saying that.
Findings: Obama leads Romney 66 percent to 25 percent among Latino voters.
Pollster: USA Today/ Gallup
Methodology: Survey of 1,000 Latino registered voters from April 16 to May 21. The margin of error is +/- 3 percentage points.
Why it matters: Romney is the weakest Republican presidential nominee among Latinos since 1996, even as there are twice as many Latino voters since then, USA Today's Susan Page reports. But it doesn't look like you can totally blame that on the conservative positions on immigration that Romney took during the Republican primary, because immigration is not the top issue for Latino voters, Gallup finds. Instead, they care more about unemployment and health care.
Caveat: Second-generation Latinos are more open to conservative views, Page points out.
Findings: Voters are not rooting for either side of the Obama vs. House Republicans battle. Likely voters disapprove of Obama's assertion of executive privilege in withholding documents from the House Oversight Committee on the Fast and Furious case by 56 percent to 29 percent. Among independents, 68 percent disapprove. But they see Congress as being obstructionist toward Obama by 48 percent to 41 percent. Among independents, 51 percent think so.
Pollster: The Hill/ Pulse Opinion Research
Methodology: Survey of 1,000 likely voters on June 21. The margin or error is +/- 3 percentage points.
Why it matters: Obama has been campaigning against not just Romney, but the entire Republican Party, for much of the past year. For example, in his recent campaign speech in Ohio, he insisted he had a great plan to create jobs -- if only Congress would pass it. But the poll finds only women are buying it. By a 17-point margin, women think Congress is being obstructionist. Men disagree, saying Congress has been acting appropriately by a 5-point margin.
Caveat: Fast and Furious is not going to be the most important issue in the election.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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