USA Today/Gallup Poll:: Most Want Romney to Release Additional Tax Returns
Running against a growing public opinion tide? It sure seems that way. A new USA Today/Gallup Poll finds that most Americans want Mitt Romney to release more tax returns:
A majority of Americans, including almost a third of Republicans, say GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney should release more tax returns than the two years he has promised to disclose, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds.
The issue is one Democrats have been hammering, including an open letter to Romney signed by almost two dozen mayors released Thursday that noted controversial disclosures in the 2010 return he already has released and demanded: “What else are you trying to hide?”
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.”
The national survey of 539 adults, taken Wednesday, has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.
Romney has resisted calls to release more years of returns, noting that four years ago Republican nominee Sen. John McCain also released just two years of returns.
“We’ve given all people need to know and understand about our financial situation and about how we live our life,” Ann Romney said in an interview Thursday on ABC’s Good Morning America. Mitt Romney told National Review Online that Democrats are simply trying to get more details about his finances that opposition researchers can “pick through, distort and lie about.”
Except it doesn’t sound that only opposition researchers want to see more returns. Its a number of people that outnumber opposition researches — people Romney will need. The Democrats have an ongoing issue here. Don’t look for them to drop it.
He needs more than 47 percent of independents and more than 70 percent of Republicans to stay in the running. So we are about to test the Palin principle: how little can a Republican candidate disclose and get away with it?
One obvious question: How will Mitt avoid answering the question of how many years of tax returns he has asked of his veep candidates when vetting them? If the answer is more than two, then the question becomes: why does Romney get to vet the full tax background of candidates for office – but not the American people?
Personally, I’m sympathetic to the idea that tax returns are largely irrelevant in evaluating a candidate, but it strikes me as such an inconsequential issue that withholding them causes more problems than its worth. The Romney camp apparently thinks they can get away with this intransigence, but the poll indicates that the public isn’t too impressed by it. How long they’ll be able to keep their position given polls like this is unknown.