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August 29, 2012

Snap Poll: Romney's Personal Favorability Improves By Five Points Overnight

So, that's something.

Romney had a 43-percent favorable and 44-percent unfavorable rating in nine battleground states heading into the convention, according to an average compiled by Real Clear Politics.

A survey conducted by Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research in nine battle ground states Tuesday evening found Romney’s favorable rating among likely voters had jumped to 48 percent. His unfavorable rating dipped to 39.

The argument people are having is a rather nice one to have: Did Chris Christie's speech help Romney more, or did Ann Romney's speech more?

Allah notes, as the poll does, that people say Christie's speech helped more.

Here's my argument against that: People like to think of themselves as being about "substance" and Chris Christie's speech certainly played to that cherished, and often erroneous, self-conception.

Oh -- and this idea he "flopped"? Nonsense. He gave a speech about tough choices and how each generation must rise to its moment of crisis, and spoke of grandchildren reading the history books about us. The speech was sound and strong.

But I do think Ann Romney' speech was more effective in humanizing Romney. Bear in mind, the polls reflect a jump in personal favorability, not position on issues. Christie did in fact speak to that -- courage and truth-telling are aspects of personal likability, after all -- but Ann Romney' speech was all about the personal.

She did something I haven't seen any would-be first ladies do (as far as I can remember, and honestly, my memory on this is not strong). She offered a hard sell, not a soft one, and made specific promises, guarantees, that Romney would not fail the public.

Now think about buying a car. Or a TV. You're torn between two models. Now someone -- even a salesman -- steps up and says I personally guarantee you'll be happier with this model than the other one.

When people are making decisions, they want to know they made the right decision, first and foremost.

Parse my words because I intend them to be parsed: They want to know they made the right decision. Not "they want to make the right decision." They want to know they made the right decision, because it's a big decision, and they don't want to get it wrong.

They want reassurance that this is the right decision. Car, shmar. At the end of the day, what they really want is not live in doubt about their purchase and always be wondering about that other car.

Sales are not ultimately about the object being sold. They're about the feeling that attaches to the decision. Obviously, it's easier to engender a positive feeling with a good product than a shit one, but end of the day, it's about the product the customer is more comfortable with.

This is where I think Ann Romney really helped out her husband. A personal testimonial, delivered with utmost conviction, putting her own honor and word on the line -- Yes, she's a horribly biased source, but then, she gave the guarantee.

People like guarantees.

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posted by Ace at 06:17 PM

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