In a Washington Post/ABC News poll last week, 49 percent of the respondents nationwide held an unfavorable view of Mr. Romney, while only 31 percent had a favorable one. That is a reversal from last September, when more people held a favorable view of Mr. Romney than an unfavorable one.
Independents, in particular, now have a less favorable opinion of Mr. Romney, with favorable opinions dropping from a high in the mid-40s in late November to a low of 23 percent last week, according to the Post/ABC News poll.
The drop in Mr. Romney’s favorability comes as Mr. Gingrich and his allies have hammered away at Mr. Romney’s character — accusing him of being a dishonest politician who cannot be trusted to tell people the truth.
I suspect the problem is at least two-fold. First, the attacks from both Gingrich and the Democrats have started to eat in to Romney’s Mormon-choirboy image. Second, the more people see Romney the more Romney risks showing them his snippy side. If you push Romney just enough, as first Perry and now Gingrich have during the debates, he stands a little taller, the blood rushes out of his face, and his inner patrician priss comes out, and it ain’t pretty.