It's been a positive week for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, as he appears to have turned the tides since his crushing South Carolina primary loss to Newt Gingrich, now surging to the top of polls in Florida before the state's Republican primary today. While Florida polls show Romney defeating the visibly furious Gingrich and the other remaining Republican candidates, several other polls show that the bruising last few weeks may have hurt the former Massachusetts governor on a broader scale of the electorate.
A Washington Post-ABC News poll released Tuesday shows that 40 percent of those surveyed find Romney's work in the private sector unfavorable, 35 percent favorable, 25 percent had no opinion. Greg Sargent of the Post notes that the polling team also says "that among non-college whites — a key swing consistency that is one of the main targets of the battle over Romney’s corporate past and taxes — 35 percent view his Bain work favorably, versus 38 percent who view it unfavorably. Among moderates, the numbers are 32-39."
A separate WashingtonPost-Pew Research Center poll released Monday shows that 39 percent of registered voters see Romney connecting at least "fairly well" with the problems of average Americans, as oppose to 55 percent for President Obama. In yet another poll, this time conducted by NBC/WSJ last week, Romney's negatives appeared to be spiking 20 points among independent voters over the last two months.
While the former Massachusetts governor may be happy with a recent USA/Today Gallup poll having Romney neck and neck with Obama in swing states, and a key win in Florida tonight is likely to put him back in the drivers seat for the Republican nomination, the Romney campaign should be less celebratory than they were following the New Hampshire primary victory. If he were to become the nominee, Romney's campaign has their work ahead of them to repair their candidate's public image following what has been an extremely arduous primary race.