Even without Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney’s Republican convention is certain to feature some of America’s least liked politicians.
For the tenth straight month, Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s approval rating has seen more people disapprove than approve of him. Currently, Romney is at a (-9) net approval rating, as only 40% approve and 49% disapprove.
The 2012 GOP convention will be headlined by the least popular nominee in 28 years, but the RNC is also filling their speaking slots with many more unpopular Republicans.
Gov. Nikki Haley (SC) has been given a speaking slot even though her approval rating is 37%. Joining Haley on the national stage will be Ohio’s John Kasich. He has a 38% approval rating. Sen. Rand Paul does better than Haley and Kasich, but his approval rating is 42%. (Paul is still a better choice than Mitch McConnell, who has a 37% approval rating.)
Just in case any women were thinking about voting Republican, Gov. Bob McDonnell, who has seen his approval rating slide 9 points, will also be speaking.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who is the home state governor for the convention and thus had to be invited to speak, has a 40% approval to 51% disapproval rating. As bad as Rick Scott is, Rick Santorum and his 27% national approval rating are worse. On top of all of this, the Republican Party couldn’t resist trotting out at least one member of the family associated with two of the worst presidencies in recent history. Jeb Bush, who is popular with Republicans but tainted nationally, will also speak at the convention.
Speaking of the stench of failure, Sen. John McCain has been given a speaking slot, which will likely be dedicated to discussing Barack Obama’s failure to start more wars and bomb more countries.
There are a few bright spots for Republicans. Gov. Scott Walker has a net (+4) approval rating (51%/47%), and will be speaking at the convention. The very popular New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez has been given a speaking slot, and it certain that New Jersey’s Chris Christie will have a prominent role in the convention.
Beyond their lack of popularity, what stands out about the initial list of Republican speakers is that the Romney campaign will be attempting to court Hispanic voters.
Martinez, US Senate candidate Ted Cruz, and Puerto Rico Governor Luis Fortuño will all be speaking at the convention. Obama leads Romney with Hispanic voters, 63%-27%.
The Republican convention is shaping up to be one of the least likeable political gatherings in decades. Scattered amongst the Republicans who are unpopular at home and nationally will be a few popular names, but overall the message coming out of this convention could be very ugly and negative. This will not be a convention that touts the virtues of Mitt Romney. It will be a four day attack on President Obama.
Even without the wildly unpopular Sarah Palin, the convention’s appeal should be limited to the Republican base. If things go as expected, Mitt Romney could actually be the first nominee to see his approval ratings go down after his convention.
In an election where it appears that 92%-95% of the electorate has already made up their minds, the 2012 Republican convention may serve as a reminder to voters of why they voted these guys out in 2008.
The biggest thing to come out of the Republican convention will be that the GOP will finally have to stand up in front of the world and take ownership of the damaged goods known as Mitt Romney, while reminding America of the price they continue to pay for having elected Republicans.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor, who is 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