As the 2012 presidential campaign heads toward the fall climax, no group has been the target of more electioneering appeals than America’s beleaguered middle class. The Pew Research survey finds that neither candidate has sealed the deal with middle-class adults but that President Obama is in somewhat better shape than his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney.

About half (52%) of adults who self-identify as middle class say they believe Obama’s policies in a second term would help the middle class, while 39% say they would not help, according to a survey conducted in July.

By comparison, 42% say that Romney’s election would help the middle class, while 40% say it would not help.

There is much more variance in the judgments of the middle class about the likely impact of the two candidates’ policies on the wealthy and the poor. Fully seven-in-ten (71%) middle-class respondents say Romney’s policies would help the wealthy, while just a third (33%) say they would help the poor. Judgments about Obama tilt the opposite way. Roughly four-in-ten (38%) middle-class respondents say his policies would help the wealthy, and about six-in-ten (62%) say they would help the poor. Read More