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Well now that Rick Santorum has stepped aside the 2012 campaign -- shifting into a head to head race allowing Mitt Romney to focus on the ultimate opponent President Obama.
Voters will start taking a closer look -- how those -- differ on some key issues in the general election.
Independent pollster Scott Rasmussen is already asking some of those questions he is president of Rasmussen Reports dot com.
And I suppose if I were a White House staffer I wouldn't necessarily like the results of some of these polls.
That you've been asking about Scott you ask people how do you think Barack Obama is handling national security issues as president.
And it doesn't come out so well for the president 48% giving -- -- rating on that.
Actually poor rating is up about 48%.
Is on economic times our national security should not your -- better than I do.
What it's funny how that works.
And by the way this is that the issue of -- of the election on the economy is the big concern.
That's not surprising that Democrats give the president good marks on the economy Republicans given terrible marks.
What should concern the White House.
Of unaffiliated voters say the president is doing a poor job on the economy.
Say he's doing a good job also among lower income Americans.
Those people look the president is trying -- to rile up right now.
Give the president poor marks on the economy.
Again this is the key issue and the president is now the focal point of the debate.
And so when he when he makes speeches about things like a buffet rule is he addressing some of those concerns and of voters.
But what he's trying to do is to shift the question -- -- -- voters' minds from you know how are you doing on the economy to.
It's not fair that some people we're getting a better deal certainly.
Most Americans do think the wealthy.
Pay less than their fair share of taxes they tend to think they pay a -- were.
Rate of of taxation in the middle income Americans and he people would like to see that fixed.
So scores a few points but it doesn't address the primary issue concerns about the economy.
Well let's talk now about those national security questions that you asked.
When you asked voters how you think go the president how they think the president is addressing national security issues 25%.
Said excellent 21%.
Good nineteen fair and 35%.
What does -- it.
What does -- say you know the story here really is there were concerns -- President Obama took office that he didn't have any foreign policy experience but consistently he has gotten better ratings on national security matters.
That he has on handling the economy.
In in by the way part of that dealt with.
-- bit rate and Osama bin Laden and other things have taken place.
There's been more recent concerns about perhaps forgetting -- -- -- intervention into many places.
But the real problem for the White House -- these numbers has nothing to do with the ratings.
It's that we're at a time when people do not -- national security concerns anywhere near the top of of the list of most important issues the economy is most important -- you got health care concerns.
And concerns about taxes and energy prices and gas prices.
And so the national security news is encouraging for the White House.
But not going to be big factor.
Barring any you know what if type event we hope we don't see between now and November.
And as Bill Clinton as candidate famously demonstrated people tend to vote their pocketbooks economic issues trump -- That's for sure and right now as we sit here today we asked people to rate their own personal finances.
Well they're saying they're just about the same as they were the day Barack Obama took office that's not great news for the president it's not terrible lose it's the reason we're likely to have a close election.
Scott Rasmussen from Rasmussen Reports Scott thank you.
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