Even his friends don’t like him

I'm wearing magic underwear

Overestimating Romney
Aside from getting votes, he’s a great candidate.

There are three basic theories to explain why Mitt Romney hasn’t been able to build support above the 30 percent level, despite being the heavily favored frontrunner for most of the past six years: (1) Republicans distrust Romney because of his history of flip-flopping. (2) Republicans view Romney as insufficiently conservative. (3) Republicans aren’t comfortable with the idea of a Mormon as president.


If none of the conventional wisdom is fully satisfying as an explanation for why Romney is now stuck in the mid-20s, then, perhaps a more elemental explanation will do: Voters just don’t like him very much. And they never have.

Romney has the least-impressive electoral history of any Republican frontrunner in a very long time. Most of the politicians who chase the White House are proven vote-getters with very few electoral blemishes on their record. John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Bill Clinton, John Kerry, George W. Bush, Bob Dole, Michael Dukakis—what unites all of these men is that before getting to the presidential level, they had demonstrated a talent for getting people to vote for them. (Barack Obama is the exception who proves the rule.)

Over the years, Mitt Romney has faced voters in 22 contests. He won 5 of those races and lost 17 of them. (This total includes a win in the 1994 Massachusetts Republican Senate primary as well as results from the 19 primaries he participated in during 2008. It excludes caucuses because their rules make them complicated enough to be considered distinct from straight-up lever-pulling.)

Romney’s electoral record becomes even more underwhelming when you examine the particulars. He first attracted national notice in 1994 when he mounted what was considered a strong challenge to incumbent senator Ted Kennedy. But when it came time to vote, Romney lost by 17 points in what turned out to be the best year for Republicans in more than half a century. In 2002, Romney won the gubernatorial race in Massachusetts. This victory—the triumph of a Republican in deep-blue Massachusetts—is now the cornerstone of his 2012 “electability” rationale.

It’s easy to forget that four years ago Romney was considered to be the front-runner by many experts. Hew was sold as the inevitable nominee this go-round, especially with Sarah Palin declining to run.

Romney held the lead for most of the year in most polls. But the first straw poll went to Michele Bachmann, with Romney coming in 7th behind Rick Perry’s write-in campaign. Bachmann’s lead lasted about as long as an Obama promise as people flocked to the Perry bandwagon.

Perry rose, then fell. Cain surged into the lead, then tripped. Now Newt Gingrich is in the lead. Meanwhile Romney’s numbers haven’t budged past where they were six months ago. If all the not-Romney voters settle on a single candidate, he’s toast.

It’s the Curse of Seamus.

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36 Responses to Even his friends don’t like him

  1. crawdad says:

    There’s something about Romney that creeps me out. I swear his eyes in that picture follow me around the room.

  2. Rocky Hussein Squirrel says:

    New Romney ad:

  3. votermom says:

    Which version of Mitt don’t they like?

  4. elliesmom says:

    I admit that my dislike for Romney comes from the gubernatorial campaign that he ran against Shannon O’Brien. Jane Swift had damaged women in MA politics, and Romney capitalized on it. After he was elected, he relegated his Lt Governor, Kerry Healey to supermarket ribbon cuttings. When she ran for governor after Romney decided not to, she had zero name recognition. Deval Patrick mopped the floor with her.

    • catarina says:

      Healey deserved to be used for a floor mop after she infamously said that seniors who couldn’t afford their exorbitant MA real estate taxes were probably “over-housed” anyway.

      Another elitist creep.

      • elliesmom says:

        I don’t think that property taxes in MA are “exorbitant”. We have the lowest property taxes in the northeast. If the time comes that I cannot afford the taxes on a 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom house, then my husband and I are “over-housed”. That’s not “elitist”. That’s just common sense. It’s called “down-sizing”, and people do it all of the time. They also retire to places where the cost of living is less.

        • catarina says:

          When your annual re tax bill exceeds the total of your annual social security payments, that’s ugly. And that’s the case for many people in here in the Metro West.

          In my town the soccer moms call the elderly folks who fight the Prop 2 1/2 overrides ‘greedy.’

          Have you seen Kerry Healey’s place on the North Shore? Not too shabby. Is she over housed? Does she really *need* that beachfront? Who in the hell is she to tell people they should downsize?

          I don’t believe in pushing the elderly out of the communities they’ve been a part of for decades. It’s cruel and disrespectful.
          Ever see how quickly downhill an elderly person will go when they’re removed from the familiarity of their home?

          Maybe you think they should just go ‘work it off’ at Town Hall, or get a job bagging groceries.
          I don’t.

        • …Then we bury them in the backyard and keep collecting their SS checks.

          It’s what they would have wanted.

        • catarina says:

          Sean Healey will live in a $17 million oceanfront home in Florida, the state where Kerry Healey was raised. The couple also has a second house in Massachusetts, a second house in Florida, as well as a house in Vermont.


          Kerry Healey can kiss my ass.

  5. myiq2xu says:

  6. WMCB says:

    Oh, Gawd – I take a break from politics and get busy doing the Christmas thing for awhile, and come back to find that my ABO choices will be Animatronic Mittens or Newt?????

    Shit, shinola, and sassafras. I need a drink.

    • myiq2xu says:

      You’re alive?

      I was about to start searching obituaries.

      • WMCB says:

        Alive and well. Actually, I have been feeling SO good (after 4 or 5 months of a bad lupus flare and barely moving out of bed) that I have been running around like a crazy woman doing all the stuff I didn’t do for 5 months, and am not home much to be online!

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