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The increasingly likable Mitt Romney

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:57 am - May 18, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election

Lately, I’ve been wondering if friends on Obama/DNC mailing lists receive regular missives, telling them what a horrible, no good and very bad man this Mitt Romney is.  An acquaintance was incredulous that an intelligent gay man could indicate a willingness to vote for the presumptive Republican nominee.  He was convinced the former Bay State governor lacked any redeemable qualities. (Neo-Neocon offers some reflections on such incredulity.)

At the same time, a friend reports that his in-laws hold a similarly low opinion of Obama’s opponent, hating “Romney because he beat up gay person when 18.”

It seems, however, that public opinion is swinging away from those with doubts about the Republican.  Citing a poll showing a jump in the likely GOP standard bearer’s favorables since Romney locked up the nomination, John Hinderaker believes that

. . . there are still a lot of independents who have seen little of him. Many of them won’t really tune in until the fall. When they do form an impression of Romney, I think it is highly likely to be positive, as Romney comes across as reasonable, competent and likable. So I will be surprised if this comparison does not continue trending in his favor from now until the election.

I agree.  Most people don’t follow politics as closely as do those of us who blog about it — and those who read our posts.  Their impressions likely won’t be shaped until this fall.  The way he comes across on the campaign trail, particularly in contrast to the incumbent, will have a greater impact on voters than the media foraging into his adolescence, the Obama attack ads — and Democratic e-mails.

RELATED:  Michael Barone, Romney closing the likeability gap

UPDATE: Writing on the determination of some lefties to define Mr. Romney as crazy, James Taranto quips, “The reflexive labeling of one’s partisan opposition as ‘crazy’ and ‘lying’ does not seem to us a sign of strength.

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8 Comments

  1. You’d probably hate him too if you only got to know him through the mainstream media outlets and Huffington Post ;)

    Comment by Tim in MT — May 18, 2012 @ 5:03 am - May 18, 2012

  2. On Romney, I still not convinced there’s much “there” there. Still comes across as a bland “suit”….hanging from a weather-vane.

    Comment by Ted B. (Charging Rhino) — May 18, 2012 @ 10:30 am - May 18, 2012

  3. “I’m not familiar precisely with what I said, but I’ll stand by what I said, whatever it was.”
    -Mitt Romney, earlier this week.

    Comment by Tom1729 — May 18, 2012 @ 11:08 am - May 18, 2012

  4. Obama.
    Ate.
    A.
    Dog.

    Comment by Bruce (GayPatriot) — May 18, 2012 @ 11:22 am - May 18, 2012

  5. Hitler.
    Owned.
    A.
    Dog.

    Comment by Serenity — May 18, 2012 @ 1:21 pm - May 18, 2012

  6. Bruce.
    Just.
    Got.
    Owned.

    Comment by Cinesnatch — May 18, 2012 @ 2:00 pm - May 18, 2012

  7. Now that the toddlers at #5 & #6 have had their respective giggles, time to point out just what each side ‘likes’.
    Conservatives are far more inclined to ‘like’ a politician because that person’s words and conduct indicate an adherence to values and principles that they deem important.
    Leftists are far more inclined to like a politician because that person dresses or speaks in a certain way (not to mention promises them the bounty of the state/federal treasury). Think of David Brooks (perfectly creased khakis, and he’s NOT a conservative) and Chrissie Matthews and those thrills that run up his leg (which one, I wonder?).
    Adults are more prone to ‘like’ Romney, and the kiddies almost universally will like Barry.

    Comment by Jman1961 — May 18, 2012 @ 2:27 pm - May 18, 2012

  8. Romney Derangement Syndrome* (RDS) is real, and affects political junkies where it hurts most of all – in their political judgment. If you think you, or someone you love, may be afflicted with RDS, please your county Republican Party TODAY for knowledgeable, compassionate, and dedicated counseling. Confidentiality assured.

    Comment by Jeremayakovka — May 19, 2012 @ 7:50 pm - May 19, 2012

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