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.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.