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Comparing Romney and Obama on issues that won't come up

April 23, 2012|By Jon Healey
  • Here are the results of Opinion L.A.'s highly unscientific survey of voter attitudes regarding former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and President Obama.
Here are the results of Opinion L.A.'s highly unscientific survey… (Los Angeles Times )

The results are in from our wholly unscientific weekend survey, and though they don't provide much of a clue as to the presidential race, they at least show whom voters trust to feel their iPhone pain.

Close to 550 people answered at least part of the grueling 15-question survey, and nearly 400 made it all the way through. (Note to self: limit next survey to six questions.) The survey asked voters which candidate was most likely to share certain concerns or take certain actions on the economy or world affairs.

The questions were selected because they were unlikely to be asked by any other survey, for the simple reason that they were ridiculous. With some luck, that aspect was apparent to everyone who took the survey.

COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS: Presidential Election 2012

The chart at the top shows all the results, but here's a more readable recitation. Again, a self-selected group of people responded to the poll, so any correlation between these results and the sentiments of Americans as a whole would be purely coincidental.

On the six economic issues, we asked readers which candidate would be more likely to take six different steps "to help your pocketbook." Mitt Romney was the choice by a wide margin to "accuse Ben Bernanke of being unpatriotic," "tell Europe to bail itself out" and "start a satisfying but self-defeating trade war with China." Surprisingly (to me, at least), Romney also edged President Obama as the candidate more likely to "offer a tax credit for wages spent on Brazilian blowouts." Obama was the overwhelming choice to "create an entitlement for fresh fruits and vegetables" and a very slight favorite to "declare Facebook 'too big to fail.' "

On the five areas of concern, readers found Obama to be more empathetic on four: "baggage fees are a ripoff," "my iPhone drops too many calls," "the Yankees are destroying baseball" and "the One Direction tour bypassed my town." It's astounding to me that Red Sox fan Romney wouldn't be the runaway choice in the latter category. I also thought people underestimated Obama's concerns about One Direction, given his wife's obvious fandom. The one area that readers felt Romney shared their concern more than Obama (and by a pretty wide margin): "I can't find pink slime at the supermarket."

Finally, readers gave Romney the nod on three of the four foreign policy issues, finding him the candidate more likely to "bomb Venezuela," "jack up the parking fees at the United Nations" and "definitively refute China's claim to have invented baseball." Obama, by contrast, was seen as more likely to "give a foreign head of state a ride in a Tesla Roadster."

Thanks to all the good sports who took the survey.

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