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Mitt Romney’s Unfavorable Ratings Have Been Rising Since Iowa
The Daily Beast ^ | February 1, 2012 | Andrew Romano

Posted on 02/03/2012 7:50:37 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet

Sure, Mitt Romney just had a huge win in Florida—but his favorability ratings have been sinking miserably since the New Year. Andrew Romano on why the GOP’s long primary race in 2012 won’t mirror the Dems’ in 2008. Plus read more Daily Beast contributors on what Romney’s Florida victory means.

On stage last night in Ballroom C of the Tampa Convention Center, Mitt Romney, the winner of the 2012 Florida Republican primary, tried his darndest to simulate the emotional state that Homo sapiens refer to as “happiness.”

“Our opponents in the other party ... like to comfort themselves with the thought that a competitive campaign will leave us divided and weak,” he said. “But I’ve got some news for them ... when we gather here in Tampa seven months from now for our convention, ours will be a united party with a winning ticket for America!”

Rousing stuff. Still, one can imagine that by the time Romney returned to his room and began to scarf down his requisite bowl of Brown Sugar Chex Bites, he was already asking himself a slightly less sunshiney question:

When will it end?

For weeks, pundits and prognosticators have speculated about what kind of shape the GOP’s most likely nominee will be in once this year’s rollercoaster nominating contest finally reaches its inevitable conclusion. Some have argued that the attacks on Romney’s career at Bain Capital will leave the nominee mortally wounded—easy prey for Obama & Co. Others have disagreed, claiming that the Super PAC onslaught will simply toughen him up for the even bloodier battle ahead.

But no one really had any evidence to support their suppositions. Now we do. And while it’s hardly conclusive, a growing body of polling data suggests that the longer Romney is forced to fight Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Ron Paul for the Republican nomination, the weaker a candidate he will be heading into the fall.

Just take a look at what’s been happening to Romney’s favorability ratings over the last few months. On Nov. 15, Pew released a poll that showed the Mittster’s negative score (45 percent) outstripping his positive score (38 percent) by 7 percentage points. By Jan. 17 the gap had doubled to 14 points.

A few days later, on Jan. 20, Nate Silver of The New York Times posted a round-up of recent surveys. His conclusion? That while Romney’s “favorability rating was unchanged, on average, over the seven polls, some of which showed it increasing and others decreasing” since the start of the year, “his unfavorable rating was up ... in 6 of the 7 polls, and by an average of 3 percentage points.”

Now fast forward to Jan. 24, when The Washington Post and ABC News released their latest poll. Silver’s trendlet had gained momentum: since New Year’s Day, Romney’s favorables had fallen 8 percentage points among all voters; his unfavorables, meanwhile, had risen by 15. The news was even worse among Independents, the voting bloc that will eventually decide the election: an 18-point drop in positive sentiment coupled with a 17-point rise in negative sentiment.

Finally, there was the latest NBC News-Wall Street Journal survey, which came out yesterday. Much like the Post-ABC sounding, it revealed that “Romney’s negatives with independents [have] jumped 13 points in the past month ... and 20 points since November.” In the fall, Romney’s approval rating was solid: 21 percent favorable to 22 percent unfavorable. By last week, however, his unfavorables had shot up 20 points to 42 percent. His favorables were still stuck in the low 20s.

In other words, at least 10 recent polls have shown that the gap between general-election voters who like Romney and general-election voters who dislike Romney is widening—often to more than 20 or 30 percentage points—all as the Republican nominating contest drags on.

Why are voters—especially Independent voters—suddenly souring on Romney? The surveys don’t say. But given the spike in political coverage that has accompanied the primaries, it seems likely that low-information indies—the sort of people who, until recently, didn’t have much of an opinion about Romney because they didn’t know much about him—have over the past few weeks absorbed at least some of the Mitt-related headlines plastered across their local papers and parroted on their local news: that he profited off of dying companies at Bain Capital; that he pays an effective tax rate of only 14 percent; that he’s buried his assets in the Cayman Islands; that he likes to fire people; that he’s willing to spend tens of millions of dollars tearing down his fellow Republicans; and so on.

As a result, the voting blocs most likely to be offended by the image of a plutocratic corporate candidate have been turning away from Romney en masse. These include Rust Belt types—a new Public Policy Polling survey shows that the percentage of Ohioans who disapprove of Mitt (56 percent) is now twice as high as the percentage who approve (28 percent)—and whites with incomes under $50,000, among whom the candidate’s negatives have jumped 20 percentage points since Iowa.

This is pretty strong proof that this year’s wacky GOP primaries are going to wind up hurting Romney in the fall. Supporters of the former Massachusetts governor will, of course, disagree, arguing that (A) Democrats were going to level these attacks anyway, so the sooner the better, and (B) Obama weathered an even longer, harder-fought primary in 2008 and still went on to win Independents (and the election).

But they’re forgetting a few things. First, it’s easy for swing voters to dismiss Democratic barbs as pro forma partisan sniping; it’s harder when the attacks are coming from Romney’s fellow Republicans. Second, the 2008 Democratic primary pulled Obama toward the center, not away from it, like Romney, leaving the future president far better positioned to appeal to moderates than Mitt will be if he’s forced to fend off Gingrich and Santorum for a few more months.

Finally, the reason the battle royale between Hillary and Barack went on forever is because primary voters really liked both of them. At this point in 2008, both Obama and Clinton’s favorable ratings were significantly higher than their unfavorable ratings; their numbers had actually improved since the previous November. In contrast, the reason this year’s Republican race is still going on is because very few primary voters really like any of the candidates, Romney chief among them. If Republicans can’t even bring themselves to support this guy, swing voters must be thinking, then why should we?

None of which is to say that Romney will lose in November. Obama remains the most vulnerable incumbent in modern memory, and Mitt is certainly improving as a campaigner.

But for now, at least, the damage seems real—and neither Gingrich, Santorum, or Paul shows any signs of dropping out. So pour yourself another bowl of Brown Sugar Chex Bites, Mitt. You’re gonna need it.


TOPICS: Campaign News; Issues; Parties; Polls
KEYWORDS: backstabbing; bigdig; democrats; dirtytricks; fakeendorsements; fakepolls; fakestories; newt; obama; romney; romneycare; romneydirt; romneytricks; rove; roviantricks; saboteuring
The more you know, the less you like. And his strongest argument among the GOP-e is that he's "the most electable" candidate. Those polls kind of blow that out of the water, don't they?
1 posted on 02/03/2012 7:50:50 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

What IS there to like?

The guy has to be one of the least inspiring, least likable candidates for president I’ve ever seen!

He comes across as someone I would go out of my way to avoid around the office. You see him coming, and all the sudden you start doing ‘something’ with your smartphone and don’t make eye contact.


2 posted on 02/03/2012 8:06:31 PM PST by KoRn (Department of Homeland Security, Certified - "Right Wing Extremist")
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

This is going to be an interesting Spring, especially if Romney continues his slide.


3 posted on 02/03/2012 8:07:31 PM PST by CASchack
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To: KoRn

The DAILY BEAST? I didn’t even think that garbage was permitted to be linked her.


4 posted on 02/03/2012 8:13:09 PM PST by HD1200
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To: HD1200

Well.... With this article, they are correct.

Romney is about as likable and trustworthy as a used car salesman.


5 posted on 02/03/2012 8:17:26 PM PST by KoRn (Department of Homeland Security, Certified - "Right Wing Extremist")
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

And this is all before Obama and the dems have even really started campaigning and focusing on him. They really haven’t lifted a figure yet or even begun to fight to quote John Paul Jones. To use a Super Bowl analogy they’re still in the locker room getting taped up and putting the pads on and haven’t even come out on the field for warmups yet.

I like how the article said some of the attacks have contributed to his image as a plutocratic out-of-touch rich guy. Really. If back in 2009 you had said “which Republican in the country most embodies the out of touch wall st fatcat/1%, has the least ability to connect or relate to main st/the average joe, and would be the best example of the stuffed-shirt CEO the dems would love to run against” Romney would have won going away. I don’t think any other Republican would even have gotten a vote.

At some point in addition ot all the factors mentioned in the article, someone is going to ask “why in this election where the economy and jobs are the main issue did the GOP elites think our best guy was someone whose state ranked 47 of 50 in total jobs created and 48 of 50 in private sector jobs created during his term as governor?”

Imagine if there was a GOP President and the dems nominated a Governor who was 47th of 50 in job creation. How much would we be laughing at them.


6 posted on 02/03/2012 8:18:40 PM PST by jeltz25
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To: HD1200

>The DAILY BEAST? I didn’t even think that garbage was permitted to be linked her.<

Far worse than WAPO, Guardian UK, vancouver Sun, LA Slimes etc? Someone on FR should make a law for our resident chronic thread makers to quit linking to those lefty sites because I hate giving them a click point..


7 posted on 02/03/2012 8:20:21 PM PST by max americana (Buttcrack Obama is an idiot)
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To: KoRn

Uh, you do know who runs the Beast don’t you?

It would be the far leftist Tina Brown...

You know, the one showing up on Morning Joe to talk about how wonderful socialism is.


8 posted on 02/03/2012 8:20:25 PM PST by HD1200
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To: KoRn

It is a bit sad. 310 million people in the country. 40% of the country is conservative. All these GOP office holders nationwide. And the best we can come up with is Romney? Really?

But looking at history most presidentail nominees are pretty lame and uninspiring. Look at the list. Romney, McCain, Kerry, Gore, Dole, Bush41, Dukakis, Mondale, Carter, McGovern, etc...

Doesn’t say much. both parties have a history of picking bad candidates. It’s very rare that a true leader or inspiring emerges. On the GOP side only Reagan has in the past 50+ years


9 posted on 02/03/2012 8:22:11 PM PST by jeltz25
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To: HD1200

Unfortunately, so many of the so-called conservative outlets have been carrying Romney’s water that one has to check the lefties to find something critical about Willard.


10 posted on 02/03/2012 8:26:01 PM PST by CASchack
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To: jeltz25

What do you expect when a good chunk of Americans are only concerned about what a candidate tells them he will do for them? You know; how many chickens he will put in THEIR pot for free?


11 posted on 02/03/2012 8:26:08 PM PST by HD1200
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To: jeltz25

What do you expect when a good chunk of Americans are only concerned about what a candidate tells them he will do for them? You know; how many chickens he will put in THEIR pot for free?


12 posted on 02/03/2012 8:26:30 PM PST by HD1200
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To: jeltz25
"All these GOP office holders nationwide. And the best we can come up with is Romney? Really?"

That's what has had be so blown away during this whole thing. Out of ALL the conservative republicans that are out there, the primaries are a dog show. Out of the entire Republican party, there's ROMNEY? WTF?!?!?!

I could see him being a Senator, or perhaps a Secretary of Treasury, if no one else wanted to do it, but NOT a presidential candidate!

13 posted on 02/03/2012 8:28:00 PM PST by KoRn (Department of Homeland Security, Certified - "Right Wing Extremist")
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Anyone you see stating Romney won FL, Please reply with the following information:

According to NPR via NYT
NEWT leads Mitt 39-32!!

Pass the word!


Click to Donate to Newt Gingrich

14 posted on 02/03/2012 8:29:49 PM PST by hoosiermama (Stand with God: Newt, and Sarah will be right next to you.)
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To: max americana

Since they’re not excerpt and link, how are you giving them hits?


15 posted on 02/03/2012 8:41:48 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (You can't invade the US. There'd be a rifle behind every blade of grass.~Admiral Yamamoto)
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To: KoRn
Mittens Romney is the “Joe Isuzu” phony used car salesman of the 1988 Isuzu car commercials. Here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Isuzu

The more you get to know Mittens, he's just “swarmy” and a soulless, arrogant, political opportunist.

16 posted on 02/03/2012 8:42:08 PM PST by MasterGunner01 (11)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

You mean AP and Bloomberg are full-on not excerpted? And there’s no link in any of your threads? Gimme a break here.

We all know how it works: post thread, rile up the troops so they post, then you feel all goody because you posted the thread. Sounds fair?


17 posted on 02/03/2012 8:57:58 PM PST by max americana (Buttcrack Obama is an idiot)
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To: CASchack
Here's what even the small Lefty blogs are preparing for Milt:


18 posted on 02/03/2012 8:58:19 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (You can't invade the US. There'd be a rifle behind every blade of grass.~Admiral Yamamoto)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Romney has a famous endorser beside Donald Trump.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=wAkKl3Y8xmQ


19 posted on 02/03/2012 9:01:13 PM PST by 353FMG
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Bishop Willard Romney is a nasty man with a void inside.


20 posted on 02/03/2012 9:02:41 PM PST by Psalm 144 (Governor Rick Perry did the right thing, for the right reasons, at the right time. Thank you, sir.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

romney fires his coach...
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0212/72433_Page2.html


21 posted on 02/03/2012 9:17:55 PM PST by biggredd1
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To: KoRn

He is Rob Lowe from Parks and Recreation.
The annoying, talkative know it all in the office who thinks he is good looking.


22 posted on 02/03/2012 9:47:17 PM PST by Mountain Mary (I'll vote for Romney when my pig learns to sing..or when hell freezes over..whichever comes first.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

when we gather here in Tampa seven months from now for our convention, ours will be a united party with a winning ticket for America!”
_____________________________________

One of his handlers needs to tell Willie Mitty that when the Danites of old annihilated their victims they didnt come back and unite ...

nevermore...


23 posted on 02/03/2012 10:12:35 PM PST by Tennessee Nana
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To: max americana; 2ndDivisionVet
We all know how it works: post thread, rile up the troops so they post, then you feel all goody because you posted the thread. Sounds fair?

So, what about the FACTS presented in the article didn't you like?

BTW, don't be a self-righteous JackAss.
24 posted on 02/03/2012 10:25:33 PM PST by SoConPubbie
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

No barf alert?
Not even a suggestion that Romney’s mudslinging 92% negative ads might make people think he is a lying ass?


25 posted on 02/03/2012 11:51:54 PM PST by FastCoyote (I am intolerant of the intolerable.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Photobucket

After the Florida results came in and the forum discussions began on local forums a local commissioner, a republican, seemed absolutely amazed by the negative enthusiasm Romney's win is generating. Too many of our elected "leaders" do not pay attention, they don't have a clue what constituent opinion is, even after they've been told, over and over, it just doesn't sink in.

26 posted on 02/04/2012 12:09:22 AM PST by SWAMPSNIPER (The Second Amendment, a Matter of Fact, Not a Matter of Opinion)
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To: SWAMPSNIPER; 2ndDivisionVet

27 posted on 02/04/2012 12:15:24 AM PST by PhilDragoo (Hussein: Islamo-Commie from Kenya)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

At least with Bush 1, Dole and Mccain you call them war heroes in the end. What is this guys narriative? That he is a rich guy trying to do what daddy didn’t do?


28 posted on 02/04/2012 4:26:45 AM PST by Sybeck1 (Mitt Romney, a piss poor choice)
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