Dog-owner-in-chief? New poll gives Obama a leg up on Mitt Romney.

A new PPP poll survey found 7 percent of the US public are more inclined to vote for Mitt Romney as a result of the dog-on-the-roof episode, but Obama is considered a better president for dogs. 

Charles Dharapak/AP
Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney picks up Napoleon the dog as he campaigns in Lehigh Acres, Fla., in January.
Larry Downing/Reuters
President Obama bends down to pet his dog, Bo, outside the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, last week.

By now, just about everybody on the planet has heard the story about how Mitt Romney once strapped his dog, Seamus, to the roof of the car – in a crate, of course – on a family vacation. And maybe, some have suggested, it’s time to put that story to rest.

But indulge us for one more day. Public Policy Polling (PPP) has surveyed the issue, and got an extraordinary result: Seven percent of the American public say the dog-on-car-roof story makes them more likely to vote for Mr. Romney, and a stunning 14 percent say this is a “humane” way to transport a dog.

Yes, that's what they said.

The PPP poll also sheds light on who Americans think would be a better president for dogs. Mr. Obama beat Romney 37 percent to 21 percent. The rest aren’t sure.

This is a relevant question, since Team Obama has been trying for months to win the Doggie Primary. In January, campaign adviser David Axelrod tweeted a picture of Obama with his Portuguese water dog, Bo, inside “the Beast,” his luxurious presidential limo. The caption: “How loving owners transport their dogs.”

When the question is framed simply as, “Who treats dogs better?” – before the issue of Seamus strapped to the roof is mentioned – Obama beats Romney by an even wider margin.

To the question “Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Barack Obama’s treatment of dogs?” 44 percent said favorable and 14 percent said unfavorable.

For Romney, it’s 20 percent favorable, 29 percent unfavorable.

Not a good area for a presidential candidate to be “under water.” Or maybe we should say, in the doghouse.

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