Conn Carroll, at The Washington Examiner, used favorability ratings for a headline column, America Hates Newt, which generated a lot of attention and fed into a narrative pushed by the Romney camp that Romney matched up best against Obama.
My theory from the start has been that Romney’s early favorability polling and match up against Obama should not be taken as a decisive measurement because historically Romney has not been able to withstand the types of attacks used by Ted Kennedy (Bain) and John McCain (lack of core conviction).
Unlike other candidates who came under withering assault and scrutiny last fall, as of year end Romney largely had been untested.
As I predicted, Romney could not withstand the negative attacks, and his problems just now are showing up in polling.
The number of Americans with negative views of Mitt Romney has spiked in a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, compounding the former Massachusetts governor’s challenges as he tries to rally from Saturday’s big loss in South Carolina.
Among independents, Romney’s unfavorable rating now tops 50 percent — albeit by a single point — a first in Post-ABC polling back to 2006. Just two weeks ago, more independents had favorable than unfavorable views of Romney; now, it’s 2 to 1 negative.
Romney’s losses since a Post-ABC poll conducted between the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary are not limited to independents. The number of Democrats viewing him unfavorably is up 10 percentage points, and among his fellow Republicans, negative ratings have jumped from 18 to 32 percent.
On November 16 I wrote that we were being fed “a false narrative of Romney electability.”
Nothing has changed, except the narrative is being revealed to be overstated, in not false.
If you like Mitt Romney, vote for him. But don’t vote for him just because you think he’s more electable versus Obama.