Surveys Say a Majority of People Want Romney to Release His Tax Returns

More people want Romney to release his tax returns than keep them private, New York is still liberal, and Obama loses ground in Iowa. 

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More people want Romney to release his tax returns than keep them private, New York is still liberal, and Obama loses ground in Iowa. Here's our guide to today's polls and why they matter.

Findings: Obama leads Romney by a slim margin, 48 perent to 46 percent with 7 percent undecided. That said, 56 percent think Mitt Romney should release his tax returns for the last 12 years while only 34 percent think he should not and 10 percent are not sure. The numbers are similar as to whether people think he should his "financial records documenting his overseas investments in countries like Switzerland or Bermuda" — 56 percent think he should, 36 percent think he should not, 8 percent are not sure.

Pollster: Public Policy Polling for Daily Kos/SEIU

Methodology: Survey of 1,000 registered voters between July 12 and 15. Margin of error is +/-3.1 percent.

Why it matters: Even though this race is still tight, there are lingering questions about Romney. In The Washington Post today Chris Cillizza wrote that Romney's refusal to release tax returns is hurting him. He writes: "No matter what’s in the tax returns — and our guess is that Romney likely paid very little taxes for several years due to the fact he was not drawing a salary — it can’t be worse than slowly dying a political death of 1,000 cuts as the media (and the Obama campaign) speculate about just why Romney won’t release his returns."

Caveat: PPP leans Democrat.

Findings: New Yorkers support health care by a wide margin: 45 percent agree with the Supreme Court's decision while 28 percent don't, and 53 percent want to see the law implemented while 37 percent want it repealed.

Pollster: Siena College

Methodology: 758 New York State registered voters were called on the telephone between July 10 and 15. The margin of error is +/-3.6 percentage points.

Why it matters: A blue state still acts blue. In addition to the health care information the poll finds that 61 percent would vote Obama and only 34 percent would vote Romney. Romney and Obama's favorability ratings are also essentially swapped. Obama has a 59-38 positive favorability rating; Romney a negative 35-59 rating.

Caveat: Party lines still hold true when it comes to health care: 76 percent of Democrats say they want it implemented and 75 percent of Republicans say they want it repealed.

Findings:  Iowa voters are still leaning Obama 48 percent to Romney's 43 percent, but Obama's lead has been cut in half since the state's last survey in May.

Pollster: Public Policy Polling

Methodology: 1,131 Iowa voters were surveyed via automated telephone interviews between July 12 and 15. The margin of error is +/-2.91 percent.

Why it matters: Obama's decrease in lead matches up with a drop in approval rating in this swing state, which is now at -2 from +3, according to PPP. The president is also losing support among independent voters, though still leads with that group.

Caveat: As mentioned earlier, PPP is left-leaning. Also, Romney's favorability rating in the state is still very low -18 but has risen since their last survey.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.