Mitt and Newt: Equally Unpopular?

 

This Byron York post should be disappointing to everyone who doesn’t expect a brokered convention: Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney now have essentially the same approval ratings, both of them bad.

In a survey conducted January 18-22, the Washington Post found that Gingrich’s favorable-to-unfavorable rating among all voters is 29-to-51 percent.  Romney’s is 31-to-49 percent.

Among independents, Romney has a 23-to-51 favorable-to-unfavorable rating.  Gingrich’s is 23-to-53.

Among Republicans, Romney has a 58-to-32 favorable-to-unfavorable rating.  Gingrich’s is 55-to-34 percent.

Among Democrats, Romney has a 21-to-62 favorable-to-unfavorable rating.  Gingrich’s is 16-to-66.

How did this happen? Apparently, Romney’s negative rating among blue collar whites has jumped 20 points in two weeks. Jonathan Chait argues that their electability gap is shrinking. Or is it just that Mitt’s flaws have become more obvious?

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  1. Profile Photo Coolidge
    @Pseudodionysius

    Ben,

    I’ll sum it up in one observation on a Canadian friend of mine who walked into a room when the debate was on tv. He doesn’t follow US politics at all and is a financial exec. 1 minute of Mitt elicited this response:

    “Mutual fund salesman.”

    Ouch.

    • #1
  2. Profile Photo Moderator
    @JamesOfEngland

    There’s two big polls (the other is PPP) suggesting that the attacks of the last couple of weeks have done an amazing amount of damage to Mitt’s favorability ratings amongst independents, which is sort of what you’d expect after huge and successful attacks from the left during a Republican primary.

    If those numbers hold, Obama will win in November, barring a decisive scandal or new recession; neither Newt nor Romney have numbers in the ball park they’d need for success. Of course, if these terrible two weeks do hold for Mitt, Newt will win by March and it’ll be a moot point. I tend to think it more likely that Mitt will return to normal. Care to wager a retraction post for mid-February? If Newt’s unfavorables are less than twice the size of Mitt’s, I write a retraction along with genuine pro Newt post on a subject that I agree with him on, without disclaimers or qualifiers, if they’re three times Mitt’s, you do the same for Mitt.

    • #2
  3. Profile Photo Inactive
    @CrowsNest

    Could really use a candidate that turns the circular firing squad into a phalanx.

    • #3
  4. Profile Photo Inactive
    @NoesisNoeseos
    James Of England

    Care to wager a retraction post for mid-February? If Newt’s unfavorables are less than twice the size of Mitt’s, I write a retraction along with genuine pro Newt post on a subject that I agree with him on, without disclaimers or qualifiers, if they’re three times Mitt’s, you do the same for Mitt. · 1 hour ago

    No wagers, thanks, the campaigning is too volatile. Besides, I don’t want to have to suffer writer’s cramp just because I was blinded by partisan zeal.

    Still, if you ever have occasion to write something the promotes Newt’s cause, my reading glasses gleam with anticipation.

    • #4
  5. Profile Photo Member
    @StuartCreque

    The problem with the “attack from the left” narrative is that Romney himself denounced “crony capitalism” in last night’s debate. Now he’s in a box: he has to explain — and fully justify his explanation — what crony capitalism is and why he can swear with absolute certainty that Bain Capital had nothing whatsoever to do with it. That will eat up valuable campaign time and energy that should otherwise go to making his case for being the nominee.

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  6. Profile Photo Moderator
    @JamesOfEngland
    Stuart Creque: The problem with the “attack from the left” narrative is that Romney himself denounced “crony capitalism” in last night’s debate. Now he’s in a box: he has to explain — and fully justify his explanation — what crony capitalism is and why he can swear with absolute certainty that Bain Capital had nothing whatsoever to do with it. That will eat up valuable campaign time and energy that should otherwise go to making his case for being the nominee. · 2 hours ago

    He defines it all the time. Crony capitalism is what happens when the government picks favorites and gives them a bunch of cash/ monopolies/ mandates etc. If there’s an attack with specifics, it’s worth dealing with that attack. Until then, there’s no reason not to attack Solyndra and the GM takeovers, or Newt’s flex fuel mandates.

    • #6
  7. Profile Photo Moderator
    @JamesOfEngland
    Noesis Noeseos

    James Of England

    Care to wager a retraction post for mid-February? If Newt’s unfavorables are less than twice the size of Mitt’s, I write a retraction along with genuine pro Newt post on a subject that I agree with him on, without disclaimers or qualifiers, if they’re three times Mitt’s, you do the same for Mitt. · 1 hour ago

    No wagers, thanks, the campaigning is too volatile. Besides, I don’t want to have to suffer writer’s cramp just because I was blinded by partisan zeal.

    Still, if you ever have occasion to write something the promotes Newt’s cause, my reading glasses gleam with anticipation. · 1 hour ago

    There are things I like about Newt. I chatted with him for a half hour about trade policy in 2008. During the conversation, he proved the most knowledgeable, sound, and interesting instructor I’ve had on the subject (the focus of much of my post-grad education). If Mitt chooses someone other than Senator Portman as VP, Newt would probably be the strongest candidate on my home topic.

    • #7

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