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Majority Think Romney Should Release More Tax Returns

(photo: David Rebers' Hammer Photography / flickr)

A solid majority of Americans think Mitt Romney should release more tax returns than the one year he has so far, according to a new USA Today/Gallup poll. In addition, a plurality think Romney is hiding something damaging. From USA Today:

Those surveyed are divided on whether the likely Republican nominee is trying to hide anything. While 42% predict the release of additional returns would not reveal anything politically harmful, 44% believe it would include damaging information — including 15% who say they believe the revelations would be so serious that they would “show he is unfit to be president.”

[…]

• Agree by a substantial margin of 17 percentage points that Romney in particular should release more than two years of returns. By 54%-37%, they say Romney should release tax returns from additional years. Those calling for more disclosure include 75% of Democrats, 53% of independents and 30% of Republicans.

This poll shows why the Obama campaign’s push for Romney to release more returns is such a political win-win.

By a substantial margin Americans think this is a completely reasonable request. With both the American people and even many conservative pundits saying Romney should release more returns, it is highly unlikely there will be any blowback, like Obama looking pious for pushing the matter.

If Romney keeps refusing to release them, it only feeds the rapidly growing narrative that Romney is not open with the American people and is hiding something bad. Every minute the political news is talking about the issue of Romney not releasing his tax returns is a moment they aren’t talking about something that could be damaging to Obama. Keeping the campaign focused on the challenger’s negative is important when you are an incumbent who doesn’t have a good economic record to run on.

On the other hand, if Romney moves quickly to kill the story by releasing more returns, it does no damage to Obama and his campaign at least gets more information to use in its opposition research.

While this demand for more tax returns from Romney is not a silver bullet, it is a win-win that you can expect Democrats to ride for as long as they can, which is why Romney’s continued refusal to release more returns is so weird.

CommunityFDL Main Blog

Majority Think Romney Should Release More Tax Returns

(photo: David Rebers' Hammer Photography / flickr)

A solid majority of Americans think Mitt Romney should release more tax returns than the one year he has so far, according to a new USA Today/Gallup poll. In addition, a plurality think Romney is hiding something damaging. From USA Today:

Those surveyed are divided on whether the likely Republican nominee is trying to hide anything. While 42% predict the release of additional returns would not reveal anything politically harmful, 44% believe it would include damaging information — including 15% who say they believe the revelations would be so serious that they would “show he is unfit to be president.”

[…]

• Agree by a substantial margin of 17 percentage points that Romney in particular should release more than two years of returns. By 54%-37%, they say Romney should release tax returns from additional years. Those calling for more disclosure include 75% of Democrats, 53% of independents and 30% of Republicans.

This poll shows why the Obama campaign’s push for Romney to release more returns is such a political win-win.

By a substantial margin Americans think this is a completely reasonable request. With both the American people and even many conservative pundits saying Romney should release more returns, it is highly unlikely there will be any blowback, like Obama looking pious for pushing the matter.

If Romney keeps refusing to release them, it only feeds the rapidly growing narrative that Romney is not open with the American people and is hiding something bad. Every minute the political news is talking about the issue of Romney not releasing his tax returns is a moment they aren’t talking about something that could be damaging to Obama. Keeping the campaign focused on the challenger’s negative is important when you are an incumbent who doesn’t have a good economic record to run on.

On the other hand, if Romney moves quickly to kill the story by releasing more returns, it does no damage to Obama and his campaign at least gets more information to use in its opposition research.

While this demand for more tax returns from Romney is not a silver bullet, it is a win-win that you can expect Democrats to ride for as long as they can, which is why Romney’s continued refusal to release more returns is so weird.

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at http://pendinghorizon.com

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