What Does It Take To Get Someone To Like Mitt Romney?

April 27, 2012, 12:00 PM GMT+0

(Week of 4/21/2012) Has there ever been a political figure like Mitt Romney? Two campaigns for the Republican Presidential nomination, a losing effort in 2008 and now a walk-over in 2012. He is the presumptive nominee before the end of April, four months before his party’s convention. And for all that, almost friendless.

Only 9% say they like Romney a lot (32% like President Obama a lot).

Among whites, 10% like Romney a lot, as do 13% of college graduates, 15% with incomes over $100,000, 18% of people age 65 and older, 18% of conservatives, 20% of Republicans.

(Percentage who like Obama a lot: 39% of college grads, 39% with incomes over $100,000, 58% of Democrats, 65% of African Americans, 68% of liberals.)

Overall, among all adults, only 5% find Romney exciting (only 15% find Obama exciting at this point, but that’s still three times more than thrill for Romney), only 8% find Romney inspiring (30% for Obama).

Romney has no events except contrived events between now and the Tampa convention at the tail end of August—no debates, no meaningful election nights, no job in Congress or as Governor where he can prove his mettle, nothing authentic he can do that will allow his supporters a chance to come to like him a lot. He’s not a fresh face. This is his second time around the track and if there were a telling anecdote that would allow people in to feel warmly about him, that story would surely have been told long ago.

If presumptive Republican nominee for President Mitt Romney were a movie star, you’d cast him in a movie that relies heavily on special effects. But audiences will go to see a summer special effects movie. How can people cast their vote for President (what wise man Mark Shields calls the most personal vote people cast) for a candidate who earns warm feelings from few among even his base groups of supporters?

How Romney earns warm feelings from voters between now and November will be one of the most fascinating challenges facing an American political figure in generations.

Economist/YouGov poll archives can be found here

Photo source: Press Association