The Romney favorability bounce

Short version: people actually like him now.  I don’t think I’ve ever gone so far as to say debates don’t matter (I think they decided the 2000 election and made 2004 much closer than it might have been), but this is probably the best evidence yet.  And this really strikes me as more the debate itself, rather than just the post-debate media echo chamber.  Via HuffPo Pollster:

2012-10-16-RomneyFav.PNG

We had an election panel yesterday and I said that Mitt Romney went from being an historically bad (based on favorability ratings) GOP candidate to an average one.  And an average candidate should be making this a helluva tight race according to most all the prediction models.  And that’s what we’ve got now.   I do wonder how much of an impact a better Obama debate performance would have had. To a significant degree, this seems to be about Romney performing well and looking “presidential.”  Obviously, Obama could have made that harder for him, but I think it was in large part people responding to the reasonably talented, credible politician, rather than the caricature Romney had become.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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