“Likability is keeping Obama in the game at this point,” Mark McKinnon, a top strategist for former President George W. Bush, told the Washington Post. “Romney hasn’t really revealed much of his personal story or his personality, so he’s got a lot more potential to grow.”
The USA Today-Gallup survey found that 60 percent of respondents said that Obama was likeable compared with 30 percent for Romney. Gallup says Obama’s likeability factor accounts for his GOP challenger’s inability to take a consistent lead despite the sour economy and high unemployment.
The most recent Gallup poll found Obama with a slight 46-45 percent lead over Romney in terms of who would win were the election to be held today.
“Obama has a strength in terms of his personality,” said Gallup Editor-in-Chief Frank Newport. “The one thing in this presidential race about President Obama is that Americans like the guy – maybe they don’t know enough about Romney yet to like him – and also they think that Obama has empathy and understands the problems of the average American.”
This is keeping Obama ahead of Romney overall, according to Newport.
Even so, Romney leads Obama on issues such as who would do a better job tackling the deficit, the economy and creating jobs.
Romney still has time between now and Election Day to improve his numbers because likeability is all that is keeping Obama in the race at this point. Some analysts say that next month’s Republican National Convention could give Romney a chance to introduce Americans to his more personal side, which could help him in the polls.