Michael Barone –
TAMPA, FLA. – The Republicans who are assembled here have been told time and time again that Barack Obama’s great advantage over Mitt Romney is likability.
And many of the 15,000 or so journalists who endured the gusts of rain on Monday and groaned in the sun on the 1.5-mile walk from the nearest parking lot to the metal detectors outside the convention press center have been writing and soundbiting that the chief task of the Romney campaign is to introduce Romney’s personal background and character to the public to improve his favorability ratings.
Both talking points are true, but only (in an old journalistic phrase) up to a point.
The latest ABC/Washington Post poll, for example, reported that when asked which of the two candidates was more likable, 61 percent picked Obama and only 27 percent said Romney. That looks like a huge advantage.