The EFM Feature

CBS News released a new poll showing possible candidates ranking among Americans. It reported the favorable ratings of the top three candidates:

Giuliani 41%
McCain 39%
Romney 5%

So, what to make of these low numbers for Gov. Romney? Patrick Hynes is a blogger whom John McCain pays. Not surprisingly, he writes:

The big surprise is how bad former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s numbers are. They are, frankly, almost bad enough to bump him out of the first tier of candidates.”

(Of course, if Hynes really believes the Governor is no threat to his boss, he’ll stop constantly blogging about such a “second tier” candidate.) Of the bloggers who aren’t paid McCain consultants, John Hinderaker at Power Line writes:

[B]uzz among politics junkies, and even the media generally, doesn’t quickly translate into name recognition among the general public.…Mitt Romney seems to have established himself as a credible, first-tier candidate on the Republican side, but the voters haven’t noticed yet.

John also wonders how he can gain the name recognition of a Rudy or McCain. Co-blogger Paul Mirengoff adds:

[T]he electorate sees [Romney] as a blank slate, but he seems to have the time and the resources to overcome that problem and therefore the opportunity, given his talent, to build a favorable image.

In fact, 85% of respondents to the CBS poll said they did not have enough information on Gov. Romney to make a decision. This is both an opportunity and a challenge as we move into 2007. As we’ve said repreatedly here at EFM, the more people get to know Gov. Romney, the more they’ll like him. This actually is not a small detail, since this doesn’t seem to be the case with some of the other candidates.
Mark Steyn said he believes all of the candidates are defective in some way:

Mitt Romney I like, in many ways, because I think his kind of Mormonism is the least problematic baggage of the major candidates.

In other words, it’s easy to forget that the election is not happening next week. Americans certainly have time to get to know Gov. Romney and his record–and when they do, his message will resonate.

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