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Thu Mar 22, 2012, 09:35 AM

Is Mitt Romney the Most Unpopular (likely) Presidential Nominee Ever?

To defeat Barack Obama in November, Mitt Romney would have to make history by overcoming a larger favorability deficit than any other modern presidential candidate.

Since 1976, no serious contender, Democrat or Republican, has watched his favorable ratings fall as low as Romney’s have in recent months. Or watched his unfavorable ratings climb as high. Or watched his overall numbers stay underwater—that is, more unfavorable than favorable—for so long.

At this rate, Romney is shaping up to be the most unpopular presidential nominee on record.

It’s no secret that this year’s Republican primary contest has hurt the former Massachusetts governor. What was supposed to be a rather orderly march to the nomination has steadily morphed into a degenerative, Sisyphean slog, thanks to the vagaries of delegate math and the GOP’s curious lack of enthusiasm for Mormon moderates from Massachusetts. George Will, for one, has grown so despondent that he is already advising conservatives to give up on the presidency and focus on Congress instead.

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Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
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Arrow 10 replies Author Time Post
Reply Is Mitt Romney the Most Unpopular (likely) Presidential Nominee Ever? (Original post)
RyanPsych Mar 2012 OP
grantcart Mar 2012 #1
goclark Mar 2012 #6
Art_from_Ark Mar 2012 #2
boxman15 Mar 2012 #10
emulatorloo Mar 2012 #3
asjr Mar 2012 #4
Drunken Irishman Mar 2012 #8
Proud Public Servant Mar 2012 #5
Stan Smith Mar 2012 #7
lumpy Mar 2012 #9

Response to RyanPsych (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 09:43 AM

1. Just wait until after the campaign starts

also from the article

Unfortunately, this is terrible news for Mitt, because he currently boasts the worst primary-season favorable-unfavorable split of any major-party nominee of the last 36 years (at least). There have been roughly 20 polls released in the last two months; only one gives him a positive favorable rating. The rest of the surveys show Romney’s unfavorables outstripping his favorables, often by as many as 20 percentage points. On five occasions, his unfavorable rating has topped 50 percent; his favorable rating has fallen into the 20s five times as well. As of March 12, when the last of these polls was released, Romney was averaging 49.6 percent unfavorable to 37.6 percent favorable—a gap of 11.7 points.

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Response to grantcart (Reply #1)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 11:58 AM

6. Bad news for Mitt isd good news for me!

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Response to RyanPsych (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 09:45 AM

2. I think William Howard Taft in 1912

may have been the most unpopular major party nominee. He holds the dubious distinction of being the only major party presidential candidate since at least the 1870s to get fewer votes than a 3rd party candidate.

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Reply #2)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 12:26 AM

10. Yep.

Although the circumstances are different (for one, Romney isn't the incumbent), I wonder if a more conservative candidate will run third party and still some Mitt votes since he's too much of a moderate (or is he? Who knows?), much like how Teddy Roosevelt ran third-party because Taft was much more conservative than the progressive Republican would've liked.

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Response to RyanPsych (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 09:54 AM

3. Kochs and Rove are going to drive Obama's favorables down

At least that is their goal. Hundreds of millions of Swiftboats launching soon.

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Response to RyanPsych (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 10:32 AM

4. I'm old enough to remember Wendel Wilkie.

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Response to asjr (Reply #4)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 05:42 PM

8. THAT SOB WILKIE!



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Response to RyanPsych (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 10:51 AM

5. The article itself says "no"

Carter in 1980 and Mondale in 1984 both had larger negative favorability than Romney.

The more interesting question is whether any presidential candidate has ever been this unpopular with his own party. I'd guess you'd probably have to go back to Davis in 1924.

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Response to RyanPsych (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 04:36 PM

7. He is nothing but a clown.

Thankfully, this time around every single one of the GOP candidates is nothing but clowns. They have zero chance of beating President Obama. I also know we will keep the Senate, and get the House back. Then we can make some real progress and make the republican party a minority for at least a generation.

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Response to RyanPsych (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 11:24 PM

9. Yes is the answer, Romney beats Tom Dewey (vs.Harry Truman) in the unpopularity dept.

nt

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