Poll: George W. Bush More Popular Than Romney, Biden

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Sept. 28 2012 10:59 AM

Poll: George W. Bush More Popular Than Romney, Biden

Biden's unpopularity remains a mystery to me. Who doesn't like the goofy guy who can dime-turn into a schmaltzy story? But a poll's a poll.

A Bloomberg News National Poll released Wednesday has Bush receiving a favorable rating from 46 percent of those surveyed and an unfavorable rating from 49 percent. That’s compared to Romney’s 43 percent favorable and 50 percent unfavorable.
Bush also fared better than Vice President Joe Biden (42 percent favorable, 45 percent unfavorable) and the Republican Party as a whole (41 percent favorable, 46 percent unfavorable).
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Two things. On: Bush, like his father, has avoided politics entirely since leaving the White House. He endorsed Mitt Romney in a statement. To find a picture of the two men together, you have to go back six or seven years. How much of this is necessity, given that Bush probably wants Republicans to win and knows that he can't help them? We can't know. But no Bush has spoken at a Republican convention unless he was seeking the presidency or vice presidency. If you stay out of the ring, people eventually stop associating you with politics. Pretty basic.

Two: Why don't more people think that Romney can fix this problem with one good debate? True, being the more soothsaying debater on a stage with Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry isn't the same thing as out-charming Obama. But Romney's in much the same position that John Kerry was four years ago, a dopey caricature who had a wash-out of a convention speech. How many of the people who don't like Romney now can warm to him if he comes off normal onstage with Obama?

David Weigel, a former Slate politics reporter, is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

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