The Blow Back ComethPosted: March 5, 2012
What do you get when you attack women who use birth control as baby killing sluts, announce that your goals include giving more tax breaks to the rich, rail against social security and medicare, bash teachers and state employees as lazy over paid good for nothings, and threaten to start yet another war in the Middle East? If your answer is Republicans with falling poll numbers and increased negatives, DING DING DING!!!!
As another round of voting takes place this week in the Republican presidential race – with 11 states holding Super Tuesday contests – a new national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows that the combative and heavily scrutinized primary season so far has damaged the party and its candidates.
Four in 10 of all adults say the GOP nominating process has given them a less favorable impression of the Republican Party, versus just slightly more than one in 10 with a more favorable opinion.
Additionally, when asked to describe the GOP nominating battle in a word or phrase, nearly 70 percent of respondents – including six in 10 independents and even more than half of Republicans – answered with a negative comment.
Some examples of these negative comments from Republicans: “Unenthusiastic,” “discouraged,” “lesser of two evils,” “painful,” “disappointed,” “poor choices,” “concerned,” “underwhelmed,” “uninspiring” and “depressed.”
The ever so noticeable march off the right bank of crazy river has driven women to Obama and made marginal front runner Romney’s image worse than Dole, McCain’s and Kerry’s at similar points in the race.
While the nomination battle has damaged the GOP and Romney, it has only helped President Obama’s political standing. In the poll, his approval rating stands at 50%-45%, his highest mark in the NBC/WSJ survey since Osama bin Laden’s death. What’s more, he leads Romney by six points, 50%-44%, winning independents (46%-39%), women (55%-37%), suburban women (46%-44%), and those in the Midwest (52%-42%). Obama enjoys bigger leads over Paul (50%-42%), Santorum (53%-39%), and Gingrich (54%-37%). Bolstering Obama’s standing is increased optimism about the state of the U.S. economy: 40% believe the economy will improve during the next year, and 57% say the worst is behind us (versus 36% who say the worst is still ahead). Peter Hart, the Democratic half of our NBC/WSJ survey, sums up the current poll’s outlook on the 2012 race: If it were a cocktail, it would be “one part Obama, one part the economy, and three parts the Republican Party’s destruction.”
I heard some interesting conversations over the weekend at the pundit tables. One was about the possibility of Romney trying to move to the middle after charging hard right to capture the right and secure the nomination. The right wing has not been enthusiastic. The damage with the middle is stunning. Is there something called a triple flip flop? Plus, if he does move to the middle, what does that do to the turn out for the flipped out right? Do they stay home? Will any one believe him at this point? This poll indicates Romney is doing better with the TeaBots. Seventy-two percent of all Republicans say they’re satisfied with a Mittens outcome. Will they come out and vote for him on a cold, wet November day?
We’re going to be live blogging Super Tuesday tomorrow and BB’s got a morning thread for you that will have a lot of Super Tuesday information. Will turn out be any better and will Romney get any where close to the 50% win mark in any state? What will the eye of Newt do if all he gets is a Milquetoast win in Georgia? Stay tuned, it’s getting brutal out there.