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Political Insiders Poll

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being totally ineffective and 10 being perfect, how would you rate Mitt Romney’s campaign since winning the nomination?


Average: 4.1


1-3: 42%
4-6: 51%
7-10: 7%


“I feel like Obama must have a sleeper agent inside the Romney operation—otherwise, there is campaign malpractice afoot.”


“He’s not in the John McCain, Bob Dole, Mike Dukakis class yet, but he’s moving in that direction.”

“He has allowed himself to get defined in the worst light possible—as a superrich outsourcer.”

“Now I understand why this campaign had such a difficult time winning against the likes of Santorum, Gingrich, and Cain.”

“Gaffe, Bain, Repeat. Gaffe, Tax Return, Repeat. Gaffe, Bain, Repeat.”


“There has been a striking inability to respond to issues that the campaign should have vetted long ago.”


“The problem is the candidate—and no staff can fix that.”

“Did a good job of shutting up crazy Republican opponents, but is getting dominated in daily news cycles by the Obama machine.”

“Romney needs a new motto: ‘Always attack, never defend.’ ”

“How in the hell did they let Romney’s status at Bain in 1999 become more important than 8.2 percent unemployment?”

“Better than expected. The contentious primaries foretold a long season of difficulty in stitching the party together; there is more pro-Romney energy and enthusiasm from the Right than expected, and his focus on Obama has been relentless.”

“He is not a great campaigner. He has trouble connecting with ‘real people.’ But he has a solid operation and is not making a lot of mistakes.”


“A lot of it is less about him than it is about GOP mega-donors willing to spend whatever it takes to finish their takeover of the federal government.”


On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being totally ineffective and 10 being perfect, how would you rate Mitt Romney’s campaign since winning the nomination?


Average: 5.9

1-3: 13%
4-6: 40%
7-10: 47%


“A strategy of duck and cover will not carry the day. We have made the sale that we should fire the incumbent, but we have to transition into a message of why it is OK to put our guy in the Oval Office.”

“Need to go back to Messaging 101 in campaign school.”


“He’s playing to not lose, which is different from playing to win.”

“Swiss bank accounts and hidden tax returns. Really?”

“They’ve hung in against an incumbent president, but they need a more compelling alternative vision for the country, and they keep getting caught on eminently predictable obstacles like releasing taxes.”

“A couple unforced errors, but overall a crisp and tight operation. Haven’t got the big message that connects yet, but a convention and the post-Labor Day period await, and he’ll have all the money he needs.”

“Team Mittens is playing a gentlemen’s tennis game while Obama
is playing rugby.”


“Hey, Romney critics, our guy is out-raising the incumbent and holding him under 50 percent in nearly every swing state. What
more could you hope for?”

“Great job uniting the party and raising money—now let’s put Bain to bed.”

“Had a few good weeks, but how they bungled Bain story with an opponent who has never created a job in his life is beyond me.”

“Mitt needs to make his campaign as strong as he is. Right now, the campaign is lagging behind the candidate’s abilities.”

“You don’t get to be president by winning July.”


Is attacking Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital an effective tactic for Democrats?


Highly effective: 79%
Somewhat effective: 19%
Not effective: 2%

Highly effective

“Great summertime strategy. Rough him up, keep the campaign off balance, start bipartisan pundit-class carping; all the while, knowing there is a lot more to the campaign than this flap.”

“Especially if coupled with his missing tax returns, which is really going to be his downfall.”

“Team Obama ignored the East Coast bed wetters and the superrich-donor whining and ran with Bain in the battleground states, and it is working.”

This article appears in the July 21, 2012 edition of National Journal Magazine.

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