In the last five presidential elections, the guy who was considered more likable won. In the latest USA Today/Gallup poll, President Obama has a 30-point edge in likability, 60% to 30%. But he is in a virtual tie with Mitt on actual votes.
When it comes to the issues, Mitt is viewed as “better” in all the economic ones — the budget deficit (55-36%), creating jobs (50 to 44%), taxes (49 to 45%), and the economy in general (51 to 41%).
They are tied when it comes to health care, 47 to 47%, which makes sense given that Obamacare is Romneycare.
Obama has the edge on foreign affairs, 52-40%, but very few voters make that their most decisive issue.
The Gallup polling summary concludes: “For now, it appears as if Romney’s economic strengths and Obama’s likability edge are offsetting one another, as voters are evenly divided in their preferences for whom they want to be the next president.” Emphasis added.
The economy isn’t going to get better between now and November. But I doubt Mitt is going to get more likable. And the electoral college map still favors Obama.
The bottom line for me is that this was the GOP’s election to lose, and it will take someone who is a caricature of phoniness, coldness, and cluelessness to give Obama a second term.