Republican Mitt Romney won’t find much public support for his refusal to release more than the two years of tax returns that he already has disclosed and promised.
Most Americans surveyed — 54 percent — say Romney should release additional tax returns, while 37 percent say he shouldn’t, according to a USA Today/Gallup Poll “snap-shot” conducted Wednesday night and released today. Independent voters, among the most heavily courted, align with the majority on this one.
While most Americans favor Romney releasing additional tax returns, those surveyed are divided as to whether it might damage the Republican Party’s presumptive presidential nominee politically.
A combined 44 percent say the returns would damage his campaign, with 29 percent saying they would show something harmful and 15 percent saying they would reveal something so serious it would show he is unfit to be president. Another 42 percent say the returns would not reveal anything harmful to his campaign.
The candidate’s wife, Ann Romney, may have added to the perception that there is something to hide in those returns that haven’t been revealed — Romney has released his 2010 return showing an effective tax rate of 13.9 percent on $21.7 million of income, largely from capital gains, dividends and interest, and promises his 2011 returns, for which he filed an extension, once the accountants are finished.
“There are so many things that will be open again for more attack,” Ann Romney told ABC’s Robin Roberts on “Good Morning America” this week, on the question of why Romney isn’t releasing more. “And you just want to give more material for more attack. And that’s really — that’s just the answer.”
She added, “And we’ve given all you people need to know and understand about our financial situation and about how — you know, how we live our life.”
The survey was conducted July 18 among a random sample of 539 adults, with a possible 5 percentage point margin of error.