Friday, May 11, 2007


Romney's Debate Non-Bounce

(Cross-posted from Political Insider. . .)

Many pundits proclaimed Mitt Romney the victor in last week's Republican debate cattle call at the Reagan Library, but it seems Romney's performance did not win over many primary voters.

A USA Today/Gallup Poll taken in the three days after the May 3rd debate and released Tuesday showed Romney claiming 7 percent of Republican voters, which is a two-point drop from the last Gallup survey on April 17.

Even worse, Romney was trailing not one but two non-candidates, Fred Thompson (13 percent) and Newt Gingrich (8 percent). With Gingrich not included in the sample, Romney did only slightly better, at 9 percent.

Perhaps the most troubling indicator for Romney's candidacy in the Gallup Poll were his favorability numbers. Over the last two months, Romney's favorability rating moved up just one point (from 23 percent to 24 percent), while his unfavorability rating went up three points (from 19 to 22).

One could argue it's still very early and Romney is still largely an unknown quantity. But in the past two months, Romney has gotten a fair amount of positive free press for winning the first quarter money race and standing out in the debate, and he's been up on the air with high gloss TV ads in a few of the early primary states. And yet the needle is hardly moving on the macro level.

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