Supporters of Barack Obama insist that issues don’t matter because the president will win re-election on the strength of “likeability.” But this theory ignores the drastic decline in Obama’s personal appeal: in October, 2008, leading polls showed the public viewed him more positively than negatively by a margin of 17 points; now that edge is only 6 points, as Obama’s personal negatives soared from 35 to 42 percent.
This gives him negative ratings much higher than Al Gore or John McCain, both of whom lost; and near identical to Mitt Romney, who’s been smeared by attack ads and harsh media treatment. Four years ago, even with his hope and change mystique, Barack Obama won only 52.9 percent of the popular vote and this year, with much less personal popularity, he shouldn’t come close to that number.
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