Nobody likes Mitt
August 24, 2012 3 Comments
Maybe he should try to be more like Raymond (insert groan). Anyway, interesting piece by Charlie Cook that basically says Romney is clearly screwing up in one way or another in not leading this race:
Still, this race shouldn’t be as tight as it is. Whether one looks at polling measurements of whether voters think the country is headed in the right direction, at consumer confidence, or at key economic measurements such as growth in gross domestic product, deviations in the unemployment rate, or the change in real personal disposable income, it is puzzling, to say the least, why polls show President Obama and Mitt Romney running neck and neck. Incumbents generally don’t get reelected with numbers like we are seeing today…
So why isn’t Romney doing better? If we wake up on Nov. 7 to find that Romney has lost—as if the writer or readers of this column would go to bed before the outcome is known—here are four explanations.
First, Romney is a very bright guy but hardly a natural candidate. I suspect that the results of a Myers-Briggs personality test would not have suggested that he pursue politics as his vocation.
I.e., it’s the personality stupid. Cook goes on to also blame ads and strategy, but I think you are looking at it right there. Romney lacks the natural charisma of a politician and the natural skills that might help combat some of these other problems Cook mentions.
On a very related note, Nate Cohn (easily my new favorite blogger of this election sesaon) takes a look at Romney’s favorability problem:
Given tepid economic growth, Obama’s mediocre ratings, and an energized Republican base, Romney ought to be well positioned by now. But the Romney campaign has one overriding weakness that jeopardizes their chances: low favorability numbers. The Obama campaign adopted a strategy to reinforce and worsen Romney’s problem by depicting him as an out of touch plutocrat bent on annihilating the middle class to advance the interest of his Wall Street friends. If the Romney campaign possessed an effective response, it wasn’t effectively employed; Boston essentially forfeited their candidate’s biography, record, and policies to a well-researched opposition.
To be fair to Romney, it’s got to be hard to avoid appearing an out-of-touch plutocrat looking to advance the interests of Wall Street when you are an out-of-touch plutocrat looking to advance the interests of Wall Street. Much easier when you are an in-touch plutocrat.
The rest of the post compares Romney’s favorability problem to Clinton’s pre 1992 convention favorability problem. Sure, there’s some hope, but, short version: when it comes to political skills and talent (and great backstory), Mitt Romney is no Bill Clinton. He certainly may still win, but it will surely be in spite of his personality.