Independent Voters Are Rejecting Romney
(CNN) — Mitt Romney is learning that there are costs to an ugly, extended primary fight marked by a rush to the far right. Independent voters get alienated by the extremism.
Last weekend, Romney was trying to reassure attendees at the Conservative Political Action Conference he was “severely conservative,” but that elevation of ideological inflexibility sounds like someone who’s hitting the Kool-Aid a little too hard for most independent voters.
This is a problem with polarization — and it’s already showing signs of benefiting President Barack Obama.
After trailing Romney for months among independent voters in a hypothetical matchup, the president is back on top — 51% to 42% in a new Pew Research Center Poll.
Just four months ago, the numbers were almost reversed, totaling a 19% swing since the primaries began in earnest. This isn’t subtle — it’s something close to an outright revolt of the independents in response to the spectacle they’ve seen in the Republican contests since Iowa — avalanches of negative ads and an outright pander-fest to various forces on the far right.
A new CNN/ORC International poll finds that 53% of independents have an unfavorable view of Romney, compared with 44% last month.