A new ABC News/Washington Post poll says a lot about the challenges facing Mitt Romney in his effort to remove Barack Obama from the White House.
According to the poll, Romney faces a 17-point deficit among registered voters: 35 percent view him favorably, 52 percent view him unfavorably. The splits for Barack Obama are 53 percent favorable; 45 percent unfavorable.
Complicating matters even further, the more that people see Romney, the less they appear to like him. Back in September, just 31 percent of Americans viewed him unfavorably, which means it has jumped almost 20 points since then.
And as ABC News points out, “Romney’s rated favorably by 44 percent of Americans with incomes of $100,000 or more, 13 points better than his score among those with less-than middle incomes. Obama’s favorable ratings exceed 50 percent across income groups.”
In the history of the poll, only one major candidate has had higher unfavorable numbers than Romney. That was Hillary Clinton in April of 2008, with 54 percent of Americans viewing her unfavorably. At the time, 39 percent had a strongly unfavorable view of the former First Lady, which is no surprise since by that point she had been the target of an intense, 15-year demonization effort by conservatives.
(That’s useful to remember when conservatives now try to claim that they would have been much more supportive of a President Hillary Clinton than of a President Obama. No, they would not. In fact, part of Obama’s appeal to many liberals was the hope that he would not inspire the blind, angry antipathy directed at Hillary Clinton and before that at her husband. That hope proved vain.)
– Jay Bookman