"The money we're spending on these tax cuts for the wealthy is a major driver of our deficit," he said last week as he worked to make it a major issue in his campaign.
Yet some of the strongest support for extending all of the tax cuts came from some of Obama's most reliable supporters, such as young voters, minorities and the poor and working class.
Young voters ages 18-29 favored tax cuts for everyone by a margin of 69-29, the largest margin of any age group.
Latinos favored tax cuts for all incomes by 62 percent to 36 percent. Whites supported tax cuts for every income by 50 percent to 44 percent. African Americans split, 48 percent for limiting the tax cuts to incomes below $250,000 and 47 percent for extending them to all incomes.
And those making less than $50,000 supported tax cuts for all incomes by 53 percent to 41 percent.
"For all three groups, there's a fairly large gap in their support for Obama and how they're reacting to the tax proposal," said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion at Marist College, which conducted the poll. "It may call attention to how connected they are to the proposal itself."
Recent surveys show the presidential race tight, and this latest poll is no different. Obama edged presumed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney by 2 percentage points, 48 percent to 46 percent. He led among African Americans 78 percent to 15 percent, among young people 74 percent to 20 percent, among Latinos 67 percent to 28 percent, and among women 55 percent to 40 percent.
Romney, meanwhile, bests the president among voters ages 60 and older by 57 percent to 36 percent, among whites by 55 percent to 39 percent, and among men by 52 percent to 40 percent.
But the Obama and Romney advantages among certain slices of the electorate belie the fact that on issues, like who would best handle the economy or foreign policy, the divide between them is much closer, with the president only slightly ahead, according to the poll.
Independent voters are likely to be pivotal in November, and the poll gives Romney a boost. Overall, they favor him, though not by much.
The survey was conducted July 9-11, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.