November 13, 2012
SOMETHING PERSONAL:Misreading Election 2012 (Andrew Kohut, 11/13/12, WSJ)
Posted by Orrin Judd at November 13, 2012 7:26 PM[M]ost observers are overstating the gravity of the GOP's problem. In particular, they are paying too little attention to how weak a candidate Mitt Romney was, and how much that hurt Republican prospects.Here is what the exit poll found. Mr. Romney's personal image took a hard hit during the primary campaign and remained weak on election day. Just 47% of exit-poll respondents viewed him favorably, compared with 53% for Mr. Obama. Throughout the campaign, Mr. Romney's favorable ratings were among the lowest recorded for a presidential candidate in the modern era. A persistent problem was doubt about his empathy with the average voter. By 53% to 43%, exit-poll respondents said that Mr. Obama was more in touch than Mr. Romney with people like themselves.Mr. Romney was never fully embraced by Republicans themselves, which may have inhibited the expected strong Republican turnout. Pew's election-weekend survey found Mr. Romney with fewer strong supporters (33%) than Mr. Obama (39%). Similarly, a much greater percentage of Obama supporters (80%) than Romney supporters (60%) told Pew that they were voting for their candidate rather than against his opponent.