Last week Rasmussen released polls on 2008 head-to-head match-ups between various Republicans and various Democrats. The Brownback campaign touted one that showed Brownback only 5% behind Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee. Rasmussen notes:
Brownback is an unknown to 43%, and viewed favorably by only 19%. Just a couple weeks after his announcement, the percentage who view him favorably isn’t any larger even among Republicans.
Remember that Sam Brownback is at 1 or 2% in nationwide polls right now. People do not know who he is. It is likely that he is polling as, approximately, a "generic Republican" against Hillary Clinton. Why does this matter? Contrast this with Mitt Romney’s performance against Hillary Clinton:
- Hillary Clinton beats Sam Brownback 46-41.
- Hillary Clinton beats Mitt Romney 51-41
Sam Brownback performs 5% better against Hillary Clinton than Mitt Romney. Now, there are two possibilities: either people are favorably inclined towards Brownback, or they are unfavorably inclined against Romney. As much as I love Sam Brownback, I just do not think that it is credible to argue that a significant number of voters have information at this time that would make them more favorable to him than the average Republican. Therefore, I have to conclude that a significant number of voters have negative information about Mitt Romney.
If I am right that Sam Brownback is polling as a "generic Republican", then Mitt Romney is underperforming the generic Republican by 5% against Hillary Clinton. This is believable. Romney has been beaten up in the press, as I have noted repeatedly. At this point, Romney has a couple of strong negatives, including Massachusetts, his religion, and his flip-flops, which have all been written about in the AP and on CNN, etc. This could easily account for the losses that he is facing, as compared to Sam Brownback who just has not received the same kind of press. This is a dire warning for the Romney campaign.