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    How Obama would attack Romney

    How Obama would attack Romney

    The same way Ted Kennedy and John McCain did.

    And it’s already showing results for Obama.  Mitt Romney’s negatives are rising because of some initial attacks by the Obama campaign apparatus on Romney’s “core” and his Wall Street connections:

    The Purple Poll, a survey of 12 swing states produced by the  consulting firm Purple Strategies, spots some slight bleeding for Mitt Romney  over the last two months of GOP primary season. It’s not that he’s making  himself unacceptable to a general election audience, but Romney’s unfavorability  rating has crept noticeably in the direction of the 50-percent mark ….  The Obama campaign and the DNC are already grinding away at Romney with a  negative message, and the former Massachusetts governor’s favorability numbers  are headed in the direction Democrats want.

    Romney does not have negatives as high as some other candidates, but that can change very quickly, as history shows.  There is a reason David Axelrod and others on Team Obama have honed in on these themes.  They have worked before.

    Kennedy went after Romney on his Bain years and business restructurings (more here and here):

    While McCain attacked the “core” issue in a manner similar to how George W. Bush went after John Kerry and how Axelrod is going after Romney (more examples here and here):

    You can pretty much disregard current polling showing Romney the most competitive with Obama.  Romney has not survived these lines of attack in the past, so we should be suspicious that he can do so this time around.

    If Romney is the nominee, expect these themes to be hammered relentlessly.  And expect his negatives to be as high as any other Republican contender.


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    StephenMonteith | November 21, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    You give the Democratic attack machine too much credit; especially after your assertion last week that the media was somehow giving Romney a pass, relatively speaking. It’s conservatives who are giving more negative returns for Roney in the polls; his numbers among independents are still high, especially compared to the president’s. If Romney becomes the nominee and conservatives are faced with an actual either/or, then I (humbly) predict that you’ll get off your butts and start rallying; unless you’d actually prefer four more years of Obama, in which case you’re not nearly as smart as I once gave you credit for being.

    On the other hand, if you truly think Newt Gingrich would stand a better chance of resisting the kind of negative campaign that you think would make Romney wilt, then by all means, keep pushing him in the primaries. However, in a few weeks, when Gingrich starts to fade Again, you may want to reconsider that opinion.

    […] Jacobson has a couple of these—old attack ads from the Ted Kennedy and John McCain camps that give us a preview of what the […]

    CenterRightMargin | November 22, 2011 at 10:16 am

    Professor, isn’t this where RomneyCare comes to the Governor’s advantage. “You know, it’s funny. I get attacked from the people on the farthest right for trying to do something that the citizens of Massachusetts wanted to care for the people who did not have healthcare… and then I get attacked by the hard left, including the President, because apparently I don’t care about people who have trouble getting healthcare. And they acccuse me of trying to have it both ways!”

    […] see Legal Insurrection for the anticipated problems for a Romney general election campaign: “How Obama would attack Romney.” And also more on Romney’s cupcake factor: “Romney one step closer to […]

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