Thursday, April 12, 2012
Romney Trails Obama, but Key Numbers Break His Way
Michael Barone - Now that Rick Santorum has “suspended” his campaign, we can stop pretending and can say what has been clear for weeks: Mitt Romney will be the Republican nominee for president. The general election campaign has begun.
In some quarters, it is assumed that Barack Obama will be re-elected without too much difficulty. There are reports that staffers at Obama’s Chicago headquarters consider Romney’s candidacy a joke.
One suspects the adults there take a different view. For the fundamentals say that this will be a seriously contested race, with many outcomes possible. Obama’s job-approval numbers in the realclearpolitics.com average of recent polls hover at 48 percent positive, 47 percent negative. That’s on the cusp between victory and defeat.
Obama leads Romney in recent polls by 48 to 43 percent. Note that Obama’s percentage does not exceed his job approval. And Romney does not maximize the potential Republican vote.
Romney carries bruises, some self-inflicted, from the primary process, and his unfavorable numbers far outnumber his favorables. He got more negative than positive press coverage (interestingly, on Fox News as well as mainstream media) even as he was winning the nomination. More