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.“