Last week, Mitt Romney released ads in a bunch of early states. I argued that Romney was going on the air because he was getting defined in the media. Now HotlineTV weighs in, arguing that Romney made a fundamental mistake with these ads because now, if Romney’s numbers don’t move, Romney will appear totally dead. Watch it:

I think this makes an important point. As I argued earlier, Romney is getting clobbered in the press. I’m talking about the AP, not the NY Times. Romneys only hope is fighting back with TV. But if he can’t do that and continues to get defined — if he cannot shift the discussion to his own terms — he is completely over.

Categories: Media

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garyglenn · February 28, 2007 at 4:12 AM

Washington Post-ABC News poll

Romney in free fall as negatives climb

According to a Washington Post-ABC News poll released Tuesday:

Romney is viewed positively by 26 percent of respondents, and negatively by 34 percent, for an astonishing 1.3-to-1 negative net ratio. Romney is the only political figure included in the positive-negative impression question whose negatives are greater than his positives. Every other candidate, even Hillary Clinton, just barely, has higher positives than negatives. Rudy Giuliani’s ratio is 2.3-to-1 positive by comparison, and John McCain’s is 1.5-to-1 positive.

Since early December, Romney’s negatives have increased ten points (from 24 to 34 percent), a 42 percent increase in negatives. Those who have a “strongly negative” impression increased by eight points (from 4 to 12 percent), an increase of 300 percent in “strong” negatives. In the same time period, the percentage of those who view Romney positively increased only four points (from 22 to 26 percent), an 18 percent increase in positives.

The positive-to-negative ratio is considered a prime predictor of the upward mobility potential of candidates who are not yet well-known. What Romney’s surprisingly early and increasing negatives suggest is that the more people learn about him, as they have over the last several weeks, the less they like him.

In the last five weeks, the percentage of those who say they would support Mitt Romney’s candidacy for president dropped by 56 percent! In a January 19th Washington Post-ABC News poll, 9 percent of respondents said they would vote for Romney over all other candidates offered. In this week’s poll, only 4 percent said they would vote for Romney.

What happened between January 19th and this week that might have significantly impacted voter opinion of Romney? The drop in his support occurred despite — or given the evidence, perhaps because of — Romney’s formal announcement of his candidacy on February 13th and his airing of paid political advertising in key early primary and caucus states during the very period the poll was in the field.

More telling, his formal announcement was immediately followed by intense focus by conservative bloggers and the mainstream media on (1) Romney’s past record of support for abortion on demand, gun control, “gays in the military” and other major elements of homosexual activists’ political agenda, and (2) Romney’s dramatic reversal of his views on those highly-charged issues in an obvious attempt to sell himself to skeptical social conservatives who dominate the GOP presidential primary process.

Apparently, in a time of war requiring strong leadership and strength of conviction, American voters aren’t buying another flip-flopping liberal from Massachusetts.

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