Romney’s Problem With Undecided Voters Could Cost Him the Election
With Obama standing in the upper-forties and leading by a few points, Romney’s chances hinge on the verdict of undecided voters. If they break his way, Romney could catch up to Obama in the polls—and there’s a reasonable line of thought contending that’s what we should expect. After all, Obama’s approval rating is beneath 50 percent, so most of these voters harbor misgivings about the president’s performance. And every Republican remembers the lesson of 1980, when undecided voters flocked to Reagan over the final few days, turning a dead-heat into a decisive 489 electoral-vote landslide.
But recent polling from Pew Research and NBC/WSJ suggests that Romney has a real problem with the undecided voters he’s counting on to put him over the top. Approximately half of undecided voters have an unfavorable impression of Romney, while his favorability ratings are mired in the teens. That’s an average net-favorable rating of -33, which is all the more remarkable considering that about one-third of voters didn’t offer an opinion of Romney at all. Put differently, Romney is disliked by an astonishing 75 percent of undecided voters who have formulated an opinion of the Republican nominee.