The Corner

Romney analysis from the hotline

Mitt Romney has had a good ‘06, right? He’s put together a top-notch WH’08 team, enhanced his nat’l profile and, along the way, become a viable alternative to McCain. So why don’t people like him very much?

– A new Post/ABC News poll says Romney’s the only major WH’08er with a net negative rating. And his GOP numbers in the LAT/Bloomberg survey doesn’t provide great news either. Why?

– One answer: If voters know anything about Romney, it’s that he’s Mormon, which may stir concern. Or that he’s trying to be the conservative alternative (which may be a turnoff right now to the vast middle). Also, Romney’s been forced recently to discuss his past support for gay and abortion rights. And while flip-flopping itself isn’t fatal, Romney faces the added burden of being from MA, a state known for sending candidates onto the nat’l stage who vote for things before they vote against them. Also, how does Romney fare in direct comparison to the other McCain alternative (Giuliani), who enjoys a 3-1 fav/unfav rating in the Post/ABC poll?

– The good news for Romney: Most folks don’t know him yet, meaning he has time to introduce himself in a more positive light

Rich Lowry — Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: 

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