Campaign 2012: Mitt Romney’s campaign

December 7th, 2011

College of Communication professor Fred Bayles, director of BU’s Statehouse journalism program, is a former AP Boston and USA Today national reporter. A long-time Massachusetts political watcher, he is the author of Field Guide to Covering Local News. Bayles offers the following comments on the current state of Mitt Romney’s campaign:

“No matter what you think about Mitt Romney, you have to feel a little sorry for him if you have even a modicum of human empathy.

“Here is a candidate who would seem perfect for the times. He is squeaky clean (as far as we know so far). He has certified business credentials at a time when economic issues are the main concern of voters. And he hasn’t, at least by comparison to his fellow candidates, had a public flameout.

“And yet, he is dropping in the polls as conservative voters reshuffle the deck of candidate cards, even after discarding Herman Cain.

“As Cain was crashing and burning, Romney showed signs of making a greater commitment to his Iowa effort. He bought ad time with a message that focused on President Obama and ignored his Republican rivals. But instead of surging, he is sinking.

“The latest Washington Post/ABC News poll has Newt Gingrich at 33 percent and Romney sinking back to 18 percent, tied with Ron Paul. Romney’s polling in New Hampshire is almost as dismal.

“There is certainly enough time for Romney’s fortunes to change. He has the money and organization – and, historically, Iowa, even New Hampshire, don’t provide any insight to who will be the party’s eventual candidate.

“Still, you have to wonder if Romney can ever get above in the polls or overcome the perception that many Republicans still have an ‘anybody but Romney’ mentality.”

Contact Bayles at 617-353-7736; bayles@bu.edu

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