On “Hardball” Tuesday, Chris Matthews made a point that in this election, for Republicans, it’s about hatred of President Obama more than it is a love affair with Mitt Romney.
A recent CNN poll, highlights this point.
When asked why Democrats and Republicans are voting for either Obama or Romney, here’s what respondents said.
Among Obama supporters, 74 percent said they are voting because they support Obama, while only 23 percent said they are voting against Romney.
Among Romney supporters, 48 percent say they are for Romney because they like him, while 47 percent are voting against Obama.
That lack of enthusiasm for Romney was on-display at the GOP convention in Tampa.
“The passion in Tampa was almost entirely geared toward the future of the party and for the possibility of retiring President Obama early,” Politico’s Jonathan Martin told Matthews Tuesday.
At the Democratic convention in Charlotte, Martin said there was a lot of anti-Romney sentiment, but folks were equally supportive of Obama and the Obama family.
“A lot of people simply hate Obama,” Matthews said of those on the right, “and have to be for the Republican alternative.”
There’s a saying in politics, “Democrats fall in love and Republicans fall in line.”
The problem for Romney, is that the GOP isn’t falling in line.
Joe Scarborough has been blasting Romney for being too vague and too moderate.
This past weekend he said that had the Republican party nominated a “real conservative” Obama would be losing right now.
And then on Monday Scarborough called Romney a “flawed candidate.”
Also on Monday, conservative talk show host Laura Ingram said that this election should be a slam dunk for Republicans.
“If you can’t beat Obama with this record, then shut down the party. Shut it down. Start new, with new people,” Ingraham said.
On Tuesday’s “Hardball,” Martin explained it like this.
“George W. Bush had a measure of goodwill with the conservative base of the party that Mitt Romney does not have,” Martin said.
“And that’s the problem that Romney has right now.” Martin continued, “He comes out of Labor Day, a couple of bad polls, some bad buzz and you’ve got conservatives who are spouting off because they don’t have a relationship with (Romney) and they don’t have trust in the way that they did with George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004.”
And any challenger to an incumbent president has an uphill battle.
Since George Washington became the first president in 1789, there have been a total of 44 men to serve as president of the United States. Of those, there have been 9 who ran and lost as incumbents.
That list includes John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Martin Van Buren, Grover Cleveland, Benjamin Harrison, William Taft, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush.
Looking at the recent incumbent losers, Obama is no Gerald Ford, and Romney is no Ronald Reagan or Bill Clinton.