Magic Number of the Day: 45

Photograph by Patrick Fallon/Bloomberg

Shoppers in Santa Monica, California.

That’s the share of respondents to a Bloomberg National Poll who said they are better off than they were when President Barack Obama was inaugurated, compared with 36 percent who said they are worse off and 17 percent who said their position is about the same.

Bloomberg’s David J. Lynch examines voter response to economy-related questions in the poll. One finding: a 44 percent plurality of respondents said that their household income is about the same as a year ago, compared to 28 percent who said they were better off and 22 percent who said they were worse off.

Obama led Republican challenger Mitt Romney by 53 percent to 40 percent among likely voters, the poll found, even as economic indicators such as initial jobless claims point to a struggling economy on the president’s watch. Bloomberg’s Julie Hirschfeld Davis analyzes the Obama-Romney numbers in the survey, which showed that 55 percent view Romney as more out of touch with average Americans, compared to 36 percent who said that about Obama.

One state where Obama and Romney seem closely matched is Florida. The state has 29 electoral votes, tied for third with New York and the most among states where the 2008 presidential election was decided by less than 10 percentage points. One challenge for Romney: the state’s governor,  Republican Rick Scott, has a 39 percent approval rating after 18 months in office. Bloomberg’s Michael C. Bender has more about Scott.

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