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Interesting result of actually seeing Mitt Romney in action. A new ABC/Washington Post poll has Romney's unfavorables on the rise:

The number of Americans with negative views of Mitt Romney has spiked in a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, compounding the former Massachusetts governor’s challenges as he tries to rally from Saturday’s big loss in South Carolina.

Among independents, Romney’s unfavorable rating now tops 50 percent — albeit by a single point — a first in Post-ABC polling back to 2006. Just two weeks ago, more independents had favorable than unfavorable views of Romney; now, it’s 2 to 1 negative.

Even more interestingly, the rise in negatives is with independents, especially (+17) and with Republicans (+14), leaving Romney's fav/unfav in Gingrich territory. In fact, it's 2:1 against with indies (see graphic) at 23/51.

This is a phenomenon we noted Sunday with a comparison of these graphs, which Nate Silver (I think correctly) attributes to a tough nominating battle:

Some of it is Romney's self-portrayal as a 1%er in a year of the 99%. In fact, I'll bet you $10,000 of Romney's money that's he's not likely to be helped by his tax returns (no wages, all investment, effective rate <14%.)

But here's the bottom line: while Obama's numbers improve, the GOP nomination is between two very unpopular candidates (the media never hesitates to say it about Democrats, but it's high time we heard this fact about Republicans.)

Obama’s numbers in this poll, conducted Wednesday through Sunday, have tilted positive, both among all Americans (53 percent favorable) and among independents (51 percent favorable). The president’s favorability rating had, for the first time, dipped below the 50-percent mark last fall.
Given the ongoing battle, neither Romney or Gingrich are going to be reversing their numbers (or the President's) any time soon.

Originally posted to Greg Dworkin on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 05:47 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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