Bloomberg National Poll: Romney’s Negatives Keep Weighing Him Down
Mitt Romney’s negatives continue to weigh him down, like an anchor thrown into the sea. And a new Bloomberg National poll finds it’s costing him, bigtime:
Republican Mitt Romney’s negative ratings are preventing him from capitalizing on President Barack Obama’s vulnerabilities in the race for the White House, according to a new poll that gives the incumbent a lead heading into the first of three presidential debates.
Half of Americans hold an unfavorable view of Romney — a September high for a presidential challenger in the last three decades — and 49 percent of likely voters consider the former Massachusetts governor out-of-touch compared with 40 percent who say that of Obama in the latest Bloomberg National Poll conducted Sept. 21-24.
That’s near catastrophic and raises the question as to whether one or more great or even boffo performances in the three debates can obliterate such negative perceptions.
Still, Obama heads into the closing stretch of the race with a majority of Americans — 53 percent — disapproving of his handling of the economy, and Romney holding a slim edge as the candidate likely voters rate best able to create jobs. The president does have one clear advantage — his economic plan is breaking through with more Americans, who give him a 48 percent to 39 percent advantage over Romney on having a vision for a successful future.
In the head-to-head contest, Obama leads Romney among likely voters, 49 percent to 43 percent, even as 60 percent of Americans say the nation is headed off on the wrong track as the president completes his first term.
“If I have to choose between the two, I prefer Barack over Mitt,” said Stephanie Martin, a 41-year-old insurance agent in Glasgow, Virginia, who describes herself as a libertarian. “I think Mitt Romney is just so out of touch. It’s mostly a protest against him and the Republican establishment; it’s not that I think Obama has done such a great job.”
The telephone survey of 1,007 adults, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, suggests the presidential election may defy history with victory going either to a president with lackluster approval ratings presiding over an 8-percent national unemployment rate or to a challenger who is disliked by the public.
It also indicates that Republicans’ hopes of profiting from an “enthusiasm gap” born of disaffection with Obama haven’t materialized. Seventy percent of likely voters supporting Obama say they are enthusiastic about the election, matching the percentage of Romney backers who are eager to vote. Obama’s supporters were slightly more likely than Romney’s to say their minds were made up.
Here’s the Real Clear Politics average of polls which graphically shows the trending — trending that should not be sparking smiles at Romney headquarters: