Is Romney a Winner?
Jonathan Bernstein has some interesting insights into the Romney campaign.
…Solid majorities of Romney’s target audience have a “favorable” view of him, whether it’s Republicans (56% favorable), conservative Republicans (63%), or even those who think of themselves as very conservative (57%). What’s striking is that Romney’s unfavorable and even his strong unfavorable numbers among these groups are simply not at levels which indicate that he’ll have problems with them. Among all Republicans, 29% give him an unfavorable rating and only 8% are strongly unfavorable, with similar numbers for conservative Republicans (25%/7%) and very conservative voters (28%/10%). Those aren’t great, but they do mean that at least three-quarters of GOP primary voters could support him.
One could make an interesting comparison between conservative opposition to Romney and liberal disappointment with Barack Obama. In both cases, there’s clearly something there — but it’s mostly an elite pre-occupation that doesn’t seem to really touch ordinary voters.
I do think that Romney will, if he wins the nomination, belong to the group of candidates such as Bob Dole, John McCain, or John Kerry, candidates who are liked but inspire little euphoria. And yet Richard Nixon, George H.W. Bush and, perhaps, George W. Bush were probably in that group too, and they did just fine in November. Meanwhile, in the short term, there’s just no evidence for the idea that 25% or 30% is some sort of hard cap on Romney’s support. And that means he’s still the favorite for the nomination, Newt surge or no Newt surge. …WaPo