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One of the more interesting polls lately (remembering all along that polls are merely snapshots, thermometers taking the political temperature if you will, and not predictors this far out) comes from a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, as highlighted by the Washington Post's Behind the Numbers:
Americans overall in the new Post-ABC poll offer mixed reviews of three top contenders to challenge President Obama, with many still reserving judgment on Perry, Romney and Cain. But negative ratings for Romney and Perry — both better known — have ticked up in the past month, now approaching four in 10; just over one in four has a negative opinion of Cain.
Specifically, you can see where conservative Republicans have more than tripled their Perry unfavorables from 7 to 26 in just one month. And one can also see this about Herman Cain:
Cain, who has skyrocketed into the top tier in GOP polls, claims he would be able to compete with Obama for black voters. But only 18 percent of African Americans in the new poll rate him favorably, with twice as many — 37 percent — giving him negative marks. Cain does have a better ratio of favorable to unfavorable ratings than either Perry (49 percent unfavorable, 15 percent favorable) or Romney (50 to 15), but trails Obama by large margins. In a September Post-ABC poll, 86 percent of African Americans rated Obama favorably, although at the time there was slippage in the number giving the president “strongly favorable” reviews.
Just for comparison, Obama's favorable number stands at 49 this week in our own Daily Kos/SEIU Weekly State of the Nation Poll.

And also as a yardstick (though far from an apples-to-apples comparison because it's just before the election, with known candidates) I grabbed this from Frank Newport's book Winning the White House 2008:

Romney, currently stuck at 33, needs to get his favorables up above 50 by election day. if he's the nominee, they'll move up, just as George H. W. Bush moved from the 30s to the mid 40s. As to how much, we'll just have to see.

But the thing that keeps Obama in this race and makes it competitive is that people like Obama (they just don't like his performance on the economy. ) It's hard to find "like" and "Romney" in the same sentence.

Actually, in a separate Washington Post-Pew Research Center poll, the one word that describes Romney to the public is something a little different:

That's 60 for Mormon and another 11 for religion when it comes to Romney. And while it's more neutral than the 15 who correctly said "idiot" for Perry, clearly it's Romney's number one identifier. I'm not sure that's what his camp would want.

Originally posted to Greg Dworkin on Wed Oct 19, 2011 at 06:18 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  apparently 'intelligent' is lacking (16+ / 0-)

    as a Perry descriptor.

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Wed Oct 19, 2011 at 06:20:11 AM PDT

  •  Romney got 10 for "old" as well. Not good. (13+ / 0-)

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Wed Oct 19, 2011 at 06:25:09 AM PDT

  •  Fascinating snapshot... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jgilhousen, Matt Z, bythesea, annieli

    Honestly, I'm surprised by some of the results. I'm also intrigued by the pollsters' valuation (not fully explained in the methodology) of the one-word terms as being 'positive,' 'negative' or 'neutral.'

    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

    by angry marmot on Wed Oct 19, 2011 at 06:39:14 AM PDT

  •  I dislike them all... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Support Civil Liberty, Matt Z, filby

    But did Perry and Romney actually put their hands on each other?
    How awesome would it have been if they had started bumping chests?!


  •  Marist Poll Director:"Obama numbers go went (9+ / 0-)

    every time there is a GOP debate (...) a trend that should have Republicans worried"

    He said it on MSNBC just moment ago on Chuck Todd's show

    "Rick Perry talks a lot and he's not very bright. And that's a combination I like in Republicans." --- James Carville

    by LaurenMonica on Wed Oct 19, 2011 at 07:01:31 AM PDT

  •  An intriguing contrast! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sue B

    for this race.

    I think you present a very interesting contrast in an Obama versus Romney match-up:

    Obama: people like him, but people generally (left and right) do not like his policies or his leadership (if you can call it that) style

    Romney: he's not an unpleasant fellow and doesn't rub people the wrong way, but he's not a likeable person in the way Obama is; and unlike Obama, I think Romney will be seen as a "competent" manager and leader.

    The choices (particularly for independents) will be between someone who is likeable but is not a leader versus someone who is not likeable but will come across as a competent leader and manager.  This puts aside policies for a moment, which we must acknowledge that many in the mushy middle couldn't give two hoots about and will vote with their gut.

    It's anyone's guess how this comes out.

    •  Dukakis didn't do well with competence (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The candidate most associated with a competence pitch is probably Michael Dukakis, the 1988 Democratic nominee, who was at the time the governor of Massachusetts. "This election isn't about ideology. It's about competence," he said in his speech accepting the nomination. Dukakis brought up the line himself in a telephone interview. He pointed out that he also said the 1988 election was about values, but "nobody remembers the second sentence."

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Wed Oct 19, 2011 at 07:20:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Dukakis wasn't up against an incumbent (0+ / 0-)

        I think that's not a completely irrelevant analogy, but doesn't quite fit the 2012 match-up.

        This time around the "competent" looking candidate will be up against an incumbent president who has both sides of the political spectrum scratching their heads how he got there.

        •  no matchup is exactly like any other (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Support Civil Liberty

          it's interesting because dukakis made a point of running on it.

          Bush, Senior, of corse was a semi incumbent.

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Wed Oct 19, 2011 at 10:10:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I don't know how incompetent (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ravenwind, Odysseus

          the guy who killed bin Laden and saved the auto industry really is, not to mention that people do like his policies, but some on the left like to blame him for the republican reaction to them.

          Further, the fact that Mitt Romney in the span of a week demonstrated he doesn't understand the Eurozone crisis or foreclosures, how competent is he?  Further, every time he tries to explain his Mass. health care bill, it sounds like he doesn't know what's in it.  (Which is true -- all he did was get out of the way of Beacon Hill dems.)

          I think at this point he's the likely nominee, but the Peter Principle applies to Romney a lot more than it does to Obama.

          "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

          by Loge on Wed Oct 19, 2011 at 10:50:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  It didn't work in large part (0+ / 0-)

        because there wasn't any good reason to think H.W. Bush was incompetent, but it also reduced his margin for error.  Would a competent governor allowed the federal government to not clean up Boston harbor, furloughed William Horton (he was only "Willie" in the ads), or ridden around in the tank with that stupid, stupid helmet?

        "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

        by Loge on Wed Oct 19, 2011 at 10:47:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Not sure I agree on "green/orange/gray" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bythesea, Chevalier Mal Fet

    999 is a positive; Texas and Mormon are negatives.

  •  We will see what happens to Romney (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Marie, Matt Z, bythesea

    when he gets the millions of negative ads against him.

    President Obama, May 5, 2011: "When we say we will never forget, we mean what we say".

    by Drdemocrat on Wed Oct 19, 2011 at 09:35:02 AM PDT

  •  "Healthcare" and "Mormon" are about as neutral.... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blue aardvark, filby, antirove, Marie, bythesea

    ...for most GOPers as "Kenya" and "Solyndra," I suspect.

    Tunis...Cairo...Tripoli...Wall Street

    by GreenSooner on Wed Oct 19, 2011 at 09:37:39 AM PDT

  •  Mr. Priebus? Mr. Priebus? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Molly Weasley, filby, antirove, bythesea

    Last night was so embarrassing, he probably went into hiding.

    •  He may already be hiding...maybe he's hiding with (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Scott Walker in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, teleconferencing with the Menards' CEO, and perhaps Paul Ryan, Pat Robertson (700 club), Trump, and the assistants to the Koch boys.  Wonder if he'll offer Steele some sort of come-back role if Herman Cain manages to retain some mojo in this race.  

      It has to look like an uphill climb, coming out of a dark hole, to the RNC right now, even with truckloads of cash being dumped into their kitty.  They have assumed, with all their rightwing propaganda catapulted derision and Congressional blocking, that Obama had been brought too low in the eyes of the people to be re-electable...and yet, that seems to not really be so.  That acrid burn of reality may be leading to acid-reflux conditions.

      Looking up on a cheery note, astrophysicists (self-admitted liberally educated scientists) recently confirmed there is a left wing spin bias to the cosmos, to spiral galaxies and to the universe generally, as an overall statistical preference.  That'd be sort of consistent on the micro level (as above, so below?) with all the molecules of life's microbiology having that L-orientation--which does make it easy for the DNA/RNA processes and enzymes and other cool biological processes to work reliably and well.  So, if one aims to really be Pro-Life and Pro-Universe, lean and spin left!

      Can we deduce that #OccupyWallStreet protestors ought to circle in a counter-clockwise rotation in order to be most in tune with inner and cosmic forces?  Or should they move so as to encourage the NYPD rotate in the counter-clockwise direction?  Hmm...the mind reels...a bit to the left it seems.

      When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

      by antirove on Wed Oct 19, 2011 at 10:12:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  There is something about Perry (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    that puts me in mind of late-night TV infomercials, the kind where some guy is selling used cars or exercise equipment on a local station.

    Is the governorship of Texas still a part-time job? It was when Dubya ran.

    Yesterday's weirdness is tomorrow's reason why. -- Hunter S. Thompson

    by Mnemosyne on Wed Oct 19, 2011 at 09:39:20 AM PDT

    •  I seem to remember (0+ / 0-)

      him being off campaigning somewhere or another while the state burned. I mean, honestly, Perry--millions of acres torched, no water. Get yo' butt back here and pretend to fix it.

      Whenever I think of Perry, I think of how he shot a coyote, which is illegal in Texas. Go, Perry.

      "With a keen eye for details, one truth prevails." - Detective Conan

      by onetruthprevails on Wed Oct 19, 2011 at 08:52:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Self-described Tea Party Republicans (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, blue aardvark, Marie, askew

    Cain is thrashing Romney there. Tom Jensen at PPP thinks Romney has a real problem there that could keep the nomination away from it, as it's that serious.

    Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

    by Scarce on Wed Oct 19, 2011 at 09:39:27 AM PDT

  •  I wrote about this poll today (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, bythesea, DemFromCT, antirove, askew

    including doing some math and figuring out what the most common responses for non-Republicans were. Also, you can supply your own one-word descriptions of the three men!

    Word Association game: GOP edition

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Wed Oct 19, 2011 at 09:41:14 AM PDT

  •  So, Cain has 3 green bubbles, Romney has 2, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, blue aardvark, bythesea

    and Perry should just quit doing what he's doing. A month ago he probably had 4 or 5 green bubbles ... all go pop. I guess that's because the others have "brutalized" his bubbles.

    stay together / learn the flowers / go light - Gary Snyder

    by Mother Mags on Wed Oct 19, 2011 at 09:41:17 AM PDT

  •  Looking deeper into the data (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    filby, bythesea, askew

    You will find that few or no (<4) Republicans describe Mitt with "flip-flop", even though it is manifestly obvious to non Republicans.

    The advantages of winning the Murdoch Primary.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Wed Oct 19, 2011 at 09:42:47 AM PDT

  •  Cain's numbers will plummet once he's around a (0+ / 0-)

    little longer. His negative, idiotic comments will catch up
    to him. He's a far looser cannon than Perry.

    " still, and cry not aloud; for it is an unholy thing to boast over slain men." Odysseus, in Homer's Odyssey

    by Wildthumb on Wed Oct 19, 2011 at 09:42:57 AM PDT

  •  Re Cain and the black vote (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    We had dinner this week with an African-American friend, and I asked him what he, his family and his friends thought of Herman Cain.

    "We all think he's a joke," was the answer.

    Given the looney-tunes 9-9-9 plan, which raises taxes on the poor and middle class and lowers them for the rich; his "If you're not rich it's your fault" line; and the "kill-illegal-aliens" border fence, Cain's 15 minutes may be over soon.

    The independent analysis of his economic plan that came out yesterday is pretty devastating. Then today, one of his "economic advisers" (one of the guys who made up the plan on a plane ride) said, "OK, we'll drop the sales tax."

    This will balloon the deficit even more and won't give the government the money to provide even basic services. What spending is he going to cut? Which branch of the military will he drop -- the Army, the Navy, the Marines or the Air Force? Which national parks will have to close? How many seniors and poor people will have to go without health care?

    •  Cain Believes Racism Doesn't Exist Except For Him (0+ / 0-)

      So he's allowed to play the victim all the time. But everyone else in the country just has to suck it up.

      Oh and the only racism is "reverse racism," so Cain is being victimized by black racists. Just like Fox news viewers.

      There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

      by bernardpliers on Wed Oct 19, 2011 at 09:58:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I actually like Rick Perry the best of all of them (0+ / 0-)

    I would never vote for him, I don't agree with him on anything, and I don't think he is the brightest bulb in the box. Having said that, at least he is what he stands for, and it would be a great contrast to the President.
    For the Republicans, I think he would play better than Romney, take his position on the Texas Dream act, that would get him the much needed Hispanic vote along with choosing Rubio as his V.P.
    When he gets into the Presidential debates, there will be little expected from him, people already know he can not debate woth a shit, but that could work for him too.
    The Tea baggers and Sarah Palin might like the caustic attacks on the President, but most of America doesn't and it would appear that Perry, of all of them, is the least mean. In one of the debates he was the only one to give President Obama credit for going after and killing Bin Laden and al queda.
    Those on our side underestimate him and that is dangerous, the more you see him, the more he grows on you, the more authentic he appears, or that could be just being on the same stage as Romeny makes him appear that way.
    He truly represents that percentage of people who beleive in the same things he does, and I think that is the test we need in 2012. As I said earlier, he would be a great contrast to the President, the American people can really choose which way they want the nation to go, the choice will be clear cut.

    •  On Rubio (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      First, nominating a Cuban doesn't help all that much with non-Cubans.  The exile community is not beloved among Latinos writ large.  (only 40% of non-Cuban Latinos supported him in his last election, and that was against two awful opponents).

      Further, as a Senator he's come out against the DREAM act despite sponsoring a similar version in the state house, and drops the "amnesty" word.  This is logical -- if he has higher aspirations in the party he's chosen, he has to be the "good Latino," the one they point to in order to criticize others.  This doesn't mean he doesn't come at these views genuinely, though in the case of the DREAM act he clearly doesn't, or isn't entitled to hold hypocritical views because of his ethnic heritage, but it does mean that he won't appeal to any Latinos who don't already want to vote Republican.

      Where his presence helps is among white voters who prefer the Republican message but want an excuse not to feel as though they're buying into racist attacks on Obama.

      "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

      by Loge on Wed Oct 19, 2011 at 10:57:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Perry's the least mean? (0+ / 0-)

      I admit there's a forthrightness to him that I appreciate, and his non-hate for brown people is a plus, but isn't this the guy who's presided over more executions than any other American governor in this century?

      •  Oh my God, I completly forgot about the (0+ / 0-)

        executions. I was referring to him on the debate stage, he doesn't come across as one of the mean ones. At least compared to the others. Perhaps that is not the best barometer to judge him.

  •  Why not just morph all three together (0+ / 0-)

    So we can hate them even more than we do now!?

    Burn it the fuck down!

    by Lavocat on Wed Oct 19, 2011 at 10:00:31 AM PDT

  •  Go Herman Cain! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    In all honesty, beyond the fact that his nomination will assure President Obama's re-election, I would love to see Herman Cain as the Republican nominee. For now, at least, he's just a refreshingly unvarnished representation of what the Republican party is all about, without the benefit of having handlers. The cognitive dissonance of listening to him is delightful amusement, and I would look forward to watching a full campaign from Mr. Cain the way I enjoy driving bumper cars and popping plastic packing bubbles.

    Go Herman Cain! Go go go!

    Some people are intolerant, and I CAN'T STAND people like that. -- Tom Lehrer

    by TheCrank on Wed Oct 19, 2011 at 10:01:59 AM PDT

  •  The right's "secret weapon"? (0+ / 0-)

    Racism has always allowed for the belief that my friend or that one is different.  I don't think Cain's race will disqualify him to conservative voters the way one might suspect.

    In fact, the most racist conservative voters seem to think that Obama only won because he is black.  Blacks just have a huge advantage over normal people, don'cha you know!  That's how they think.

    I suspect the most racist element of the Republican party thinks of Cain as some kind of secret weapon to overthrow Obama.  By taking away Obama's "unfair advantage" they are assured victory!

    To be honest, I still don't think Cain will win the nomination, but I'm beginning to think he has a real chance.

  •  100% (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    At this rate, both Romney and Perry will hit 100% unfavorable amongst all adults by next July.

    A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward.- Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by shoeless on Wed Oct 19, 2011 at 10:26:33 AM PDT

  •  If Romney's at 60% favorable (0+ / 0-)

    among conservatives -- might reports that he can't bring the party together be a bit overstated?  Nobody likes Mitt Romney, but I think they'll fall in line for him.

    And then we run the foreclosure comments and win Arizona.

    "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

    by Loge on Wed Oct 19, 2011 at 10:44:26 AM PDT

  •  cain also still leads in (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JC from IA

    no opinions.  He is still a relative unknown.  Once people realize that he wants to raise taxes for almost 9 out of 10 and pledges to have an administration that will openly illegally discriminate when making hiring decisions, I see  his numbers plummeting.  Hopefully, the 'pubes don't realize it until it is too late.

  •  Really, your headline for this is just hilarious. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "Cons dislike Con"  "Blacks dislike Black".

    I can't wait for "Crazy Old Guys dislike Paul" and "Frothy Mixtures dislike Santorum"

  •  Wonder if Republican Primary Ballot wil say: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JC from IA

    (None of the above.

    •  I know you were joking, but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I have read about some municipalities that have that choice on their ballots.  If no actual candidate wins, they hold new elections.

      What many of them have found is that they tend to get better quality candidates.  It appears that NO one wants to poll below "None of the Above", so the parties and candidates try harder.

  •  Hypocrite; nutbag; pathological liar. (0+ / 0-)

    Oops, I used two words for the Mittster. Guess I'll go with the hyphenated "flip-flop," then.

    Some men aren't looking for anything logical. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.

    by Simian on Wed Oct 19, 2011 at 01:31:02 PM PDT

  •  After last night, Romney = "bully" (0+ / 0-)

    Perry = "ineffective"

    Cain = "yawn"

    "Don't dream it, be it" - Brad, Janet and Frank

    by captainlaser on Wed Oct 19, 2011 at 05:16:47 PM PDT

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