Skip to comments.Rasmussen poll: The Bain attack is a flop
Posted on 01/16/2012 3:48:16 PM PST by SeekAndFind
How exactly has Mitt Romney managed to attract a polling surge in the middle of the attacks from Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry over his Bain Capital days? According to a new Rasmussen poll, it’s because Republicans appear to be ready for a downsizing artist in the White House. And Republicans don’t appear to be alone, either:
Voters are closely divided over whether Mitt Romneys business career is a plus or a minus, but most Republicans see it as a plus. Additionally, a plurality of all voters think he would do a better job than President Obama dealing with the economy.
The Republican presidential front-runner has come under increasing attack from some GOP rivals for his work at Bain Capital, a major investment firm, and 34% of Likely U.S. Voters now think Romneys track record in business is primarily a reason to vote against him. However, slightly more (39%) feel that business record is primarily a reason to vote for him, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Twenty-seven percent (27%) are undecided.
As Saturdays critical South Carolina Primary approaches, it appears the criticism of Romney by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Governor Rick Perry, in particular, is not resonating with Republican voters nationally. Fifty-five percent (55%) of those voters believe Romneys record in business is primarily a reason to vote for him versus only 20% who see it as a reason to vote against him.
Forty-eight percent (48%) of all voters think Romney would do a better job than Obama managing the economy. Thirty-nine percent (39%) believe the president would do a better job, and 13% more are not sure.
That low number for Obama is a huge problem, especially since it comes in the middle of the Republican food fight. The economy will be the biggest issue of the election, and Obama can’t get to 40% on it against a mixed field in the GOP. Imagine where his numbers will be once the GOP unites behind a single candidate. On the question of which candidate would do better with the economy, a majority of independents give the edge to Romney by a wide margin, 52/30.
The internals have even worse news for Obama, especially if his team takes the Bain bait. Pushing the fact that Romney has extensive business experience is a big plus among Republicans, as Rasmussen’s summary notes, but it’s also a 15-point plus among independents (42/27). A majority of Democrats go the other way, but not as strongly as Obama would need at 19/56, with 25% unsure, especially since Republican approval would almost assuredly go through the roof if Romney wins the nomination. The older voters tend to be, the more positively it is viewed as well — and even among the youngest two demos, opposition doesn’t rise above 38%. Interestingly, the lowest income demo has a plurality favoring that experience for Romney (40/33); only the $20-40K demo opposes it. Even the government-employee demographic favors it by double digits, 38/27.
Small wonder that Mark Thiessen tells Romney that he should thank Newt Gingrich for launching this self-defeating attack:
When they meet in the green room before Monday nights debate in South Carolina, Mitt Romney should probably give Newt Gingrich a big thank you. In just a few days time, Gingrich has managed has to do something Romney has tried and failed to do for more than five years: rally conservatives behind Mitt Romney.
Rush Limbaugh has called Gingrichs attacks on Romneys record at Bain Capital indefensible, sad, absurd, and the language of leftists like Michael Moore and Oliver Stone. Club for Growth President Chris Chocola declared them disgusting and called on Gingrich to apologize to Governor Romney. The Wall Street Journal wrote that those like Gingrich attacking Romneys business record are embarrassing themselves and taking the Obama line.
Voters in South Carolina appear to agree. At a candidates forum hosted by Mike Huckabee on Saturday, Gingrich was booed lustily when he tried to defend his Bain attacks. Hilton Head resident Donald Harespoke for many when he was asked by the New York Times this weekend if he is supporting Romney and replied I am now. What Newt did convinced me. A new Insider Advantage poll this weekend shows Romney gaining ground with an 11-point lead. It appears the former speakers anti-capitalist attacks have only helped, not hurt, Romneys campaign.
Why has Gingrichs ploy backfired so badly? The attacks have undermined the main message of his campaign: that he is the principled conservative in the race, while Romney is a flip-flopper who will say anything to get elected. In parroting Barack Obamas class-warfare rhetoric, Gingrich has managed to turn himself into the candidate who abandons his conservative principles to get elected while Romney is now positioned as the principled defender of free-market capitalism. That is quite an achievement on Gingrichs part.
It certainly is, but it might be more basic than that. It could be, as Larry Kudlow suggests, that voters who want to reduce the size and inefficiencies of the federal government think experience in this area is a plus:
There’s a very troubled company out there called U.S. Government Inc. It’s teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. And it badly needs to be taken over and turned around. It probably even needs the services of a good private-equity firm, with plenty of experience and a reasonably good track record in downsizing, modernizing, shrinking staff and making substantial changes in management. Yes, layoffs will be a necessary part of the restructuring.
A quick look at the income statement of this troubled firm tells the story. Just in the past year (FY 2011), the firm spent $3.7 trillion, but took in only $2.2 trillion in sales revenues. Hence its deficit came to $1.5 trillion.
Just in the first three months of the new year (FY 2012), the firm’s troubles continued. Outlays for all purposes came in at $874 billion, but income was only $554 billion. So the shortfall was $320 billion. No hope of a self-imposed turnaround here. Indeed, both the senior management and the board of directors show no signs of making major changes to their business strategy.
Hope for future profits? That’s out of the question. The firms only chance of survival is a takeover. … So now the question is, will America Inc. ask this former turnaround CEO to prevent the bankruptcy of U.S. Government Inc.? Isn’t a Bainful turnaround exactly what America needs?
The effect of these attacks might just be that outcome. If Democrats are licking their chops now over Bain, they may find themselves doing facepalms in a few months instead.
Whatever his weaknesses (and they are legion, IMHO) attacking Romney because he’s a capitalist doesn’t speak well of his opponents.
An incredibly stupid line of attack that backfired and is probably helping Romney. Perry and Newt were stupid to have done this. It forced conservatives that otherwise don’t have a lot of love for Romney to defend him - which is exactly what Mitt needs in a GOP primary.
Look out, you will be vilified on FR for questioning this tactic. Yet the fact remains, just as I’ve said all along, this was the worst possible approach, especially when Romney presents so many other valid targets.
The whole concept is bizarre ~ what it does is make your first dollar of expense your medical insurance. Food, Shelter and Clothing come second.
The law is telling you that it doesn't matter if you have nothing to eat, are homeless, and dressed in rags, you gotta' pay that insurance first or GO TO PRISON.
It's just not right. Only a madman would agree to such a thing.
I didn’t bother to read the article, but one thing is reasonably certain, the jury will render a verdict next Saturday.
Then we can see Newt stop Romney and go on to throw Obama out of the White House...
OR, we can see Newt leave the race and then we can watch Obama kick Romney’s a$$.
GO NEWT GO.....
I don’t know that the real message has percolated enough yet to have any deciding effect. The point was never to attack capitalism, but to draw into question McRomney’s electability.
The narrative just got horribly misconstrued out of the gate by the media; though to be fair, Rick Perry running around talking about “vulture capitalism”a term Newt never usedwasn’t very helpful, in spite of being a legit complaint.
Either way, we all know that Romney’s tenure as a private equity manager of Bain Capital is going to be a Pandora’s Box in the general election, and a gift that keeps on giving for the Democrats.
The commentariat by and large misreported the issue. They painted it as an anti-capitalism issue, which it wasn’t. They have been no better than the media who got Obama elected and has protected him ever since.
Not a flop, a catastrophe. It made Mitt look like a courageous, principled man of the Right.
The stupidest line of attack ever in a Republican primary. They learned nothing from Michele Bachman’s hysterical, emotional, Democrat-style attacks on Perry that annihilated her campaign. Gingrich and Perry turned around and did the same thing in their Bain ads.
Exactly. Those taking this tack reveal their own failings and lack of presidential timber.
I joined you in skewering Newt on this stupidity from day one, and was attacked repeatedly. I was lectured by sycophants about how Newt wasn't attacking capitalism, just "vulture" capitalism, something none of them could explain or draw boundaries for. I always expected Newt would self-destruct- he always does. I just never thought he would be so boneheaded as to rescue Mittens in the process. All he had to do was torpedo Mittens relentlessly on abortion, RomneyCare, and gay "rights" - perfect fodder to poison Rommney with S.C. primary voters.
You sound like a Rombot on defense.
Btw, NO Republican candidate ever attacked Willard the Lib for that.
Yup, I tried to make that argument too. Now that this line of attack appears to be backfiring (and helping Romney) exactly as it was obviously going to do, we're going to get a bunch of "well there was nothing wrong with the attack, the media just distorted it" excuses.
There is so much wrong with Mitt that finding his weaknesses and pounding him should have been easy. Instead Perry and Newt attacked in the one place that would force conservatives (that don't have much love for Romney) to defend him. This reinforced Romney's claim that he is a champion of free market capitalism and made Perry and Newt look like they were taking "occupywallstreet" type cheap shots that will never pass muster in a GOP primary.
It would be different if this were something that only Romney had done and it hadn’t been going on in the corporate world for decades.
I suspect that many of us have been laid off due to things like this over the years. The company I worked for was bought by Collins and Aikman who squeezed the value out of it and dumped the corpse. (C&A went bankrupt themselves in 07 with David Stockman at the helm)
I don’t like it and don’t think its ethical but its legal and if its so terrible that its a legitimate campaign issue, then the candidates should run on the promise of making it illegal and punishing the guilty.
There’s still some time left. It isn’t a Romney win yet.
He was attacking unethical, ruthless and immoral behavior by Romney. Such attacks are no more an attack on capitalism than attacks on abortionists are an attack on the medical profession.
The commentariat played their part, but so did the video itself. Have you seen it?
Gee.....Who could’ve seen this coming? /s
Bad judgment, plain and simple.
Nonsense. This Bain issue didnt resonate because the conservative (Romney) commentariat decided to misrepresent Newts Tea Party argument as an attack on capitalism.
Now, wait until the Chicago gang raises the same issue. They set this up with the Occupy movement, equating it as a mirror image of the Tea Party- thus marginalizing the latter.
When the Dems raise Bain- the leftish media will show the conservative commentariat how its done. The richest most privileged candidate in presidential history, who loves to fire people, destroy jobs and families and will certainly take the food out of the mouths of babes.
The Establishment wants Romney- many on this board as well- lets see how Mr. Country Club elite GOP one world order socialist fairs against the Chicago Dem machine.