popularity contests

Well-Regarded Mitt Romney Still Not Quite As Beloved As George W. Bush

Mmmm, still not so much, check back in a couple of yearsIf there’s one thing Mitt Romney has done right in this campaign, it’s make people like him! His national tour, in which he’s exposed millions of Americans to his easygoing demeanor and warm personality, has won him lots of friends on the campaign trail. The numbers prove it! A recent Bloomberg survey revealed that a full 43 percent of Americans have a positive view of Mitt Romney, against only 50 percent who don’t. This puts Romney only 3 percentage points away from America’s most beloved president, George W. Bush!

Yes, a full 46 percent of Americans apparently have fond memories of George W. Bush, though it’s likely that most of these people are political comedy writers who miss the endless stream of easy jokes. But is there evidence that some of the data from this poll might be just complete gibbering nonsense — not because of any error in methodology, but just because the people polled (i.e., ordinary Americans) are kind of dumb? Here, chew on these numbers:

Obama heads into the closing stretch of the race with a majority of Americans — 53 percent — disapproving of his handling of the economy, and Romney holding a slim edge as the candidate likely voters rate best able to create jobs. The president does have one clear advantage — his economic plan is breaking through with more Americans, who give him a 48 percent to 39 percent advantage over Romney on having a vision for a successful future.

“I think Mitt Romney would be better at creating jobs. Also, I think Obama has a better economic plan for a successful future. I just like saying things on the phone. I’m so lonely! Please don’t hang up.”

An additional sign of the poll’s flaws: it claims only 42 percent of Americans have a positive view of Joe Biden, when he’s already hugged twice that many. Also, Bill Clinton’s approval rating is listed as 64 percent, when it should probably be at about 130 percent. [Bloomberg/Raw poll data]

About the author

Josh was born and raised in Buffalo, New York, leaving him with a love of chicken wings and a tendency to say “pop”. He taught ancient Greek and Roman history to undergraduates before fleeing from academia in terror; worked for a failed San Francisco dot-com that neglected to supply him with stock options or an Aeron chair; lived in Berlin, where he mostly ate Indian and Ethiopian food; finished in third place on his sole Jeopardy! appearance (the correct answer was “Golda Meir”); and was named 2007 Blogger of the Year by The Week, for obvious reasons. Josh is the creator/editor of COMICS CURMUDGEON (which you should read) and does geeky editing and writing about geeky things such as "the Java programming industry for JavaWorld." He lives in Baltimore with his wife Amber and his cat Hoagie.

View all articles by Josh Fruhlinger
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    1. sbj1964

      Mitt needs to get the new 5.0 upgrade to his personality program.My toaster has a more exciting appeal than Mittens.

    1. Jennyjen798


      "Hell Fucking NO!" is the exact phrase I say every time I pass that piece of shit billboard.

  1. Barbara_

    W. is going to the Cayman Islands right before the election for an investment conference.
    Topics include things like "How To Create New Opportunity Sets In Asia And Latam".

    Thanks for reminding everyone of one of the places Mitt stashes his money.

      1. bikerlaureate


        I'm glad he's on our side. Unleashing the Biden is a more intimidating prospect than previously reported.

    1. NorthStarSpanx

      You know Bush is still an influence when Ryan is channeling him:

      "Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime. Don't feed fish."

      1. bonghitforjesus

        More like "Teach a man to build a fire, he's warm for the night, set him on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life!"

  2. Callyson

    I wish they had compared Mittens' approval rating with that of the NFL replacement referees. I'll bet the refs come out on top, even in Green Bay…

  3. Lascauxcaveman

    Hmmm. 39% of Americans prefer Romney's economic plan? Either they can see into the future, or consider a blandly handsome rich white guy uttering vague platitudes about "jobs" and "workers" and "taxes" to be an economic plan.

    1. IceCreamEmpress

      Wait, just saying "jobs" and "lower taxes" doesn't magically make those things appear from the sky?


      1. chicken_thief

        It's it only lower tax rates. His plan is revenue neutral, so the loss in rates will be made up in fewer deductions.

        Not to be an elitist stickler for detail or anything….

  4. coolhandnuke

    Fifty-three percent of those who answer these poll questions do not know the difference or how to spell poll, pole and pull.

    1. Generation[redacted]

      Unfortunately, they had to throw out the polling on Cheney, because when they asked about "He who shall not be named" everyone assumed they were talking about Voldemort and that artificially inflated his approval rating.

    1. Generation[redacted]

      "What does your economic plan look like?"
      "What ain't no economic plan I ever heard of. Do they have a flat tax in What?"

      1. sewollef

        still think of him as a vile, loathesome, uncaring witless fucking bastard er, and war criminal, right? Mustn't forget that.

        I'd fly to The Netherlands for that event.

    1. docterry6973

      Yeah, Obama took over that franchise. I'm voting for Barry, but I haven't forgotten about the bodies.

  5. MonkeyHamlet

    Faux News: This poll is skewed toward people with feelings and thoughts and probably the blahs and the poors!

  6. SayItWithWookies

    Haha, the Bloomberg article is titled "Unfavorable Views of Romney Cloud His Message on Economy" — when really it should be "Nobody Likes Romney's Stupid Plan of Letting Rich Greedy Assholes Who Fucked Up Economy Five Years Ago Do It Again."

    1. herecomedajudge

      or possibly " stupid electorate has finally come to realize that 30 years of trickle down econ policy has royally fucked the once stable middle class"

      1. Boojum

        Or, let's be honest, 50 years of "nigger, nigger, welfare nigger" is now only appealing to a set not large enough to win elections. Because "trickle down" only worked when it was backed up by a healthy dose of Willie Horton and welfare Cadillacs.

    2. Lot_49

      Are not said "Rich Greedy Assholes" the target demographic of the Bloomberg empire? They can't handle the truth.

      Plus, it's our fault (we non-greedy, non-rich, possibly-but-not-necessarily-assholes) whose unfavorable views are "clouding" his message. It's our fault! If we'd quit "clouding" his message, everyone would recognize it, love Mitt, and vote for him!

      Too bad….Here come the clouds again!

  7. Terry

    "Yes, a full 46 percent of Americans apparently have fond memories of George W. Bush,"

    I suspect that many of these people are grateful that George just went away.

  8. zumpie

    Stop it. Stop it. This is hard. You people better wake up and realize all that Mittens will do for you and get in the ring because this is hard. And no more tax returns! But I love you wimmmmminnnnnn!!!!

  9. PsycWench

    A lot of people liked Clinton better after he admitted getting a few blow jobs, but I guess this strategy won't work for Mitt.

      1. Mittaplasia

        He can be killed but the devil delayed it because he's still busy constructing that particular circle of hell.

  10. coolhandnuke

    You know who else has great Pole numbers? I'll answer that. This curvaceous beauty from Warsaw who is a barista at a coffee shop down the street from me.
    I'd estimate her numbers at 38-24-36.

      1. coolhandnuke

        True Story. At the Dean Martin Tucson Open golf tournament in 1976, Deano spilled his cocktail on my head. He was fucking tanked. I was fucking twelve.

  11. Nostrildamus

    There's a guy in my (fairly liberal) neighborhood with one of those "Miss me yet?" bumper stickers. When I walk by I usually crack up and any chuckle to myself "nooooo …". I think he must get that reaction a lot, because he's now added a hand-scrawled note next to it saying "Yes!". It's amusingly desperate.

    1. Jus_Wonderin

      Speaking of bumper stickers, I saw a Bush/Cheney '04 on a big truck the other day. I thought "Oh really, really? So you are one of the fucks that gave that fucktard 4 more years?"

      And then I said "Oh fuck", again.

      1. zumpie

        On the plus side, there's always the times you see, "McCain/Palin '08" stickers and snicker inwardly at thier sad disappointment/blistering white rage.

    2. ChickTract_Fil_A

      I have a sad. He probably is the only one around his birthday cake singing 'Happy Birthday to Meeee".

    3. Lascauxcaveman

      There's a guy in my town who has a window sticker on his F-350. It has a picture of a grinning Obama and the caption: "Does this ASS make my truck look big?"

      I passed by him in the Safeway parking lot and said "No, but your bumper sticker makes your brain look small."

  12. Not_So_Much

    But I thought polls were now all wrong all the time when they don't favor Mitt?

    (Also, math is stupid. Too.)

    1. Generation[redacted]

      With Old Man Potter sitting next to him, scowling because he'd never get his hands on the Building and Loan.

  13. ProgressiveInga

    Mitt RMoney reminds me of my ex-husband. The more I know him, the less I like him.

    And I gave up men in the biblical sense after that relationship, too. Therefore, I'm writing in Michelle O on election day.

  14. mavenmaven

    A billboard should be placed right next to it with a picture of Pat Tillman, who is representative of those we do miss because of that monkey-grinning @$$-wipe.

  15. ChickTract_Fil_A

    Ohhhh I get that billboard now. Hahaha. I thought it was meant for throwing shoes at. I must've looked ridiculous on the side of the road.

    1. Geminisunmars

      That brought up an image of a pile of shoes growing underneath the billboard. Would make a nice cartoon.

  16. BaldarTFlagass

    I really didn't think I'd ever say this, but if Mitt does somehow win this election, then my answer to the billboard's question will probably be in the affirmative.

  17. TavariousChinaSmith

    Romney might have a chance to win if he'd just shut up for the next month. After all, loose lips sink Mitt.

    1. Generation[redacted]

      Do you really want a President commanding the army with a faulty map? He might invade the wrong country or something.

      1. CivicHoliday

        As FOX news has already proved, as long as there are brown(isn) people there, it really doesn't matter what country we actually invade

    1. SorosBot

      Now watch this drive! And yet the wingnuts like to claim Obama plays too much golf. And i certainly won't suggest it's because it's considered a white man's sport, no way.

      1. Esteev

        It would be irresponsible, etc. But, in Obama's defense, he does shoot hoops. And according to Mike Lewis' Vanity Fair piece, he doesn't do that very well, either.

  18. sewollef

    D'you think W has found that pesky bin Laden character yet? He was looking high and low some time back I remember.

  19. Jus_Wonderin

    Serious question here. Bush kept both war costs off the books, right? I know I could find this somewhere but how much debt did he run up with the wars until 2008? I know Obama put the costs on the books.

    So, all this whining about the Obama debt is…bullshit, right?

    1. Esteev

      Correct. And it would be remiss to forget the tax cuts and the Medicare Part D drug plan. All of which were not paid for. Obama's biggest addition to the debt was the stimulus; which was too small.

      But, just like the GOP, liberals and statists aren't allowed to bring up W.

      EDIT: I didin't answer the question. If I'm reading this cart correctly, from 2001-08, the war's "estimated" cost was $761B.

  20. Peckerwood_Pete

    While the man had little redeeming value as a President, I'd have had a 12 pack with George W. Bush (back in his drinking days, anyhow)…. Romney, on the other hand… I'd have to be totally shitfaced to even be in the same room as that wet dishrag of a personality……

  21. Come here a minute

    People would like Mitt better if he'd start trying to open locked doors at the end of press conferences. Also clearing brush, particularly if it was brush on their property that they wanted to have cleared.

  22. decentcitizen

    People will forgive a lot of things but not boring. Mitt personifies boring. Bush was an idiot but at least he gave you something to talk about.

  23. kyeshinka

    On behalf of the families of 4,000 American troops and the families of a quarter million dead Iraqis, no, we don't fucking miss you, you sick bastard sonofabitch.

  24. CommieDad

    I keep hearing from the Wingnuts that "Obama is our worst president, ever." Hmm. So, Obama kept us out of a depression, passed health care reform, restored the respect of our friends and allies, umm, eliminated the oppression of gay people by the military, and oh yeah, got that mother fucker who ACTUALLY ordered the killing of 3000+ Americans.

    Bush ignored warnings of an impending terrorist attack, lowered taxes, started a war, lowered taxes more and deregulated banking, started another war, captured a dictator who HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH KILLING 3000+ AMERICANS and had NO WMDs, didn't catch the bastard who did, tortured prisoners making it hard to legally try them, lowered taxes, ruined the economy, cost MILLIONS of americans their jobs, houses, and financial future.

    Yeah, Obama must be our worst president. I miss you George, I really do.

    1. fuflans

      also: compromised justice, gutted EPA, fought science at every level and every opportunity, bungled a natural disaster (political hack!), passed major entitlement legislation without funding it, took signing statements (overriding congress) to a new level, etc.

      also: fucking alito.

  25. CommieDad

    Oh, I forgot to mention. Thank-you Bush for the permanent brain damage my brother-in-law received from a roadside bomb in a country that DID NOT ATTACK US but you thought NATIONAL GUARD TROOPS needed to go and fight in.

  26. Negropolis

    “I think Mitt Romney would be better at creating jobs. Also, I think Obama has a better economic plan for a successful future. I just like saying things on the phone. I’m so lonely! Please don’t hang up.”


  27. ttommyunger

    In fairness to Clinton, he's only fucked 64% of Americans so far…..give the guy a break, he's doing the best he can, he's only human.

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