Saturday, August 4, 2012

(Opinion) Mitt Romney negative unfavorables: No surprise

It will never be a easy running for president but you know your campaign is in trouble  when the only bright spot in the week is receiving the backing of Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood[1]. According to a poll by the Pew Research Centre, Mitt Romney, for the sixth time in 9 months, has had negative ratings with regard to his personal image[2].

While there were signs of improvement in his favourables due to a 26 point gap between his favourable and unfavorables were cut down to 7 but in the last month, the gap has grown again by 8 points[3]. Compare Romney’s favourable rating to Obama’s and a 13 point difference emerges in favour of Obama, despite the President’s unfavourable numbers being on the high side for an incumbent[4].

These numbers were collected before Romney’s disastrous foreign tour where he managed to break the golden rule of state visits and general etiquette when in the home of others: Do not, at all costs, insult the host. Winning an election is hardly a walk in the park but its damn near impossible with favourable/unfavourable ratings like this.

However this is no surprise as the democrats have done fantastic job as painting Mitt Romney as rich, tax dodging plutocrat. Prominent democrats have toured TV shows and took to the floor of congress demanding that Romney reveals his tax returns with Democratic senator of Nevada Harry Reid publicly accusing Romney of not paying his taxes for the last decade[5].

While it’s not all good, it’s not exactly all bad either as Romney remains a competent fundraiser and despite his worrying favourable/unfavourable numbers, he still has a chance to become president in an election that is going to be too close to call.

In sum, it has been a horrible week for Romney and a horrible six months for his favourable/unfavourable ratings but the best news in the Romney camp is probably  lies in the fact that Britons and Palestinians don’t vote in US national elections and popularity don’t necessarily correlate progress in the polls that matter.  

[2] Pew Research Centre, 2012, Romney’s personal image remains negative,
[3] Ibid
[4] Ibid

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