Poll: Romney’s Favorables Among Republicans Drop Below 50 Percent « The Washington Independent
This is a surprising result from Public Policy Polling, the occasionally partisan group which nonetheless called the New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial races accurately. Mitt Romney’s favorable rating among Republican voters has fallen to 48 percent–a plurality, but a weak one. And the trend lines are even more interesting. Since April, when PPP started asking the question, Sarah Palin’s favorable number has moved from 76 percent to 75 percent; Mike Huckabee’s has moved from 67 percent to 65 percent. Romney, alone, has seen a statistically significant drop from 60 percent down to 48.
The results are so strange that PPP’s Tom Jensen doesn’t have a theory. One possible explanation, though, is how health care has dominated the national political debate since early summer. It the spring, Romney bounced as high as 67 percent. The summer and fall have taken a toll on him. As Andy Barr astutely pointed out in September, Romney has been hamstrung by his health care record. As governor of Massachusetts, he compromised with Democrats and signed a mandate-driven health care bill, and ever since then Republicans have used that against him.
Inside the beltway, Romney is seen as a classic front-runner who’s picked his issues wisely–he’s four months away from publishing a book on “American greatness”–and retained smart campaign staffers. But Huckabee is leading the field in national and Iowa polls, and Palin clearly has the biggest following of any possible 2012 candidate.