Voters Trust Obama with Their Finances

Laura Joszt

Recent economic data is changing voters about they think Mitt Romney or President Barack Obama would be better for their personal finances over the next four years.

As the election draws closer and closer, voters seem to be getting more confused as to who they want to vote for as they weigh the differences between Republican candidate Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama.

First Obama had a pretty commanding lead in the swing states and based on investors, he was going to win. Then economists ran some simulations forecasting Romney would win, followed by the Republican candidate trouncing the president in their first debate.

Now, voters are flip flopping on which candidate they think will be best at fixing family finances, according to Bankrate’s Financial Security Index.

In June, Americans were evenly split (21% to 21%) over whether their personal financial situation would be better under Romney or Obama. Now, Obama has opened up a lead. Twenty-nine percent of respondents say their finances would be better with another four years of Obama, while only 20% said Romney would improve their personal finances.

According to respondents in a separate Harvard School of Public Health poll, the economy and jobs are the most important factors in determining who to vote for this election. And Bankrate’s own survey echoes that sentiment with 62% of Americans considering their personal finances an important factor this election.

The margin error of the poll is plus or minus 3.7 percentage points, and the poll was conducted from Oct. 4 to Oct. 7 — after Obama’s poor performance in the first debate, but before he rebounded in the second debate.

"Americans tend to overweight recent events when casting their votes," Claes Bell, senior banking analyst at Bankrate.com, said in a statement. "Unexpectedly good job growth over the last few months may have helped boost support for President Obama.

According to Bankrate’s survey, those who are optimistic about the current economy are more likely to vote for Obama. The polls revealed that of those who report being better off compared to a year ago, 45% said they’d be better off with a second term from Obama and only 9% said they’d do better with Romney. Meanwhile of those who are worse off, 35% chose Romney compared to only 18% for Obama.

“But with a little over three weeks remaining until Election Day, there's still plenty of time for additional twists and turns," Bell said.