President Obama’s campaign has tried to portray Mitt Romney as callous and out of touch with middle class Americans, but a new poll shows that those voters would trust Romney with their finances over the president.

Fifty-four percent of middle-class families would prefer to have Romney “set and manage [their] family’s budget” compared to just 36 percent who would prefer Obama’s management, according to a new survey from The Public Notice. Among independents who responded to the survey, Romney led Obama on that question 46-36.

Notwithstanding Obama’s efforts to portray Romney as a Republican ghoul, these numbers are hardly a surprise given the president’s spending record and the Senate Democrats’ refusal to pass a budget for the last three years.

Among all likely voters polled, Romney holds a thin 47-46 percent lead over the president on that question. The survey was conducted by the Republican-leaning firm, The Tarrance Group.

More than an indication of Obama’s failure to disqualify Romney from the presidency in the minds of voters, the poll also indicates the importance of the debt and deficit to likely voters this year.

Fifty-six percent of likely voters nationwide say “the federal debt has had a major impact on their families personal financial situation,” according to The Tarrance Group.

Republicans have emphasized the issue in attacking President Obama, who has run a federal deficit of at least $1 trillion every year of his presidency (despite 2008 campaign promises that he would cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term).

“If we continue along our current budget trajectory, our grandson is simply not going to have the same opportunities that my grandparents created for me,” Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., said in the GOP’s weekly address on Saturday. Flake also argued that the new spending Obama has proposed “would fail to even take steps to deal with the economic slowdown.”

Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee have also noted the jump in welfare recipients over the last four years to argue that spending is on the rise but the economy is not.

Food stamp enrollment reached a record-high of 46.68 million Americans, according to the GOP Budget office. At the same time, “the government spent approximately $1.03 trillion on 83 means-tested federal welfare programs in fiscal year 2011 alone — a price tag that makes welfare that year the government’s largest expenditure, according to new data released by the Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee,” the Daily Caller reported last week.