A new Pew survey has found that Mitt Romney is so unpopular that he has now replaced Sarah Palin as America’s most hated national political figure.
The Pew Research Center for People and the Press survey revealed that more than half of respondents (52%) hold an unfavorable view of Mitt Romney, and only 37% have a favorable opinion of the Republican nominee. This is the sixth consecutive month that overall opinion of Mitt Romney has been negative. Romney’s unfavorable rating has increased five points in the past month, and has not been lower than 45% since November of 2011.
The high unfavorable rating would be manageable if Romney had an equally high favorable rating. The problem for him is that he doesn’t. The highest Romney’s favorable rating has been is 45%.
To put Romney’s numbers into context, when Sarah Palin hit her initial approval rating low point in March of 2010, she had an identical 37% approval rating and a slightly higher 55% disapproval rating. After her Paul Revere moment, Sarah Palin unfavorable rating was 54%. What should give the Republicans pause is that all of Palin’s unfavorable ratings are either lower than Romney’s or are within a three point margin of error of the man they have pinned their 2012 hopes on.
What should really terrify Republicans is that Romney’s image problem is nearly equal to Sarah Palin’s after her blood libel video. Romney is currently at 37%/52%. After her infamous post Gabby Giffords shooting blood libel video, Palin was at 38%/53%.
Things are even worse for Romney when it is taken into account that as a candidate in 2008, Sarah Palin was much more popular than Mitt Romney. In September of 2008, Palin had a 52% favorable rating. In 2012, Romney has never enjoyed a favorable rating of more than 41%. A Washington Post poll released on the day of the 2008 vice presidential debate found that Sarah Palin still had a net positive favorable rating of (+11). Palin’s favorable rating was 51%, and her unfavorable was 40%.
Alarm bells should be going off at GOP headquarters, because if Romney can’t turn his favorable ratings around, he will join Michael Dukakis and George H.W. Bush as the only two other presidential candidates who went into Election Day with net negative favorable ratings.
Mitt Romney is so disliked that unpopular Republican governors, Tom Corbett, Rick Snyder, and Scott Walker all have higher favorable ratings than the Republican nominee for president.
It seems that while Republicans were doing their best to avoid nominating another Palin, somewhere along the way, Mitt Romney turned in to an even less popular version of Sarah Palin. The British press picked up on this as Romney’s foreign policy tour turned into a gaffe blitzkrieg, and now his approval ratings are also displaying an uncanny resemblance to Sarah Palin.
Unlike Palin who became more disliked as the campaign went along, Romney started out disliked and has seen the rejection grow. Much of the distaste for Romney likely stems from his lack of warmth, charm, and authenticity, but his insistence on secrecy about everything from his policy positions to his tax returns has also earned him a great deal of animosity from voters.
Mitt Romney is Sarah Palin without the personality, and he is now the most hated national political figure in the United States.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association