A much greater margin of American voters look unfavorably on Republican president Mitt Romney than those who have positive views of the former Massachusetts Governor, new polling data shows. However, both Romney and President Barack Obama are among the lowest rated in modern politics.
If the election were held today, President Obama would beat Romney by a substantial margin (51 to 41 percent), new data released from the Pew Research Center on Thursday showed. These numbers are an improvement for the president compared to last month's data, which showed only a seven point lead.
However, the two men were much closer in battleground states (48 to 44) and Romney leads the president among independent voters for the first time since March (45 to 43 percent).
Romney supporters also remain more engaged than President Obama's, the poll shows. While 70 percent of Romney supporter said they'd given a lot of thought to the November election, the same was true for only 57 percent of Obama's base.
According to a Gallup poll from July 24th, voter enthusiasm among Democrats is markedly lower than in the 2004 and 2008 election cycles, which could translate to lower turnout numbers for the president in November.
These combined factors for Obama and Romney make them the two most unfavorable candidates in years.
"Not since Michael Dukakis in 1988 has a Democratic candidate gone into the election with favorability ratings as low as Obama's are today," Pew said.
It added only George H.W. Bush in 1992 and Bob Dole in 1996 ever went into a general election in Romney's position - with more unfavorables than favorables - and both lost.
But the worst news for Romney could be his favorability ratings among Republicans. Less than 80 percent of Republicans have a positive view of Romney, compared to 93 percent of Democrats' views about the president.
Compared with the last two Republican presidential candidates - incumbent President G.W. Bush in 2004 and Senator John McCain in 2008 - Romney falls far below their 97 and 96 percent respective favorability ratings among Republicans.
"Whether these candidates can improve their personal images between now and Election Day remains an open question," Pew said, but for Romney, it will be imperative to his ability to win the general election.
by RTT Staff Writer
For comments and feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org