The Los Angeles Times reports on a Peter Hart focus group:
Romney's picture evoked some positive connections -- "minister," said one participant. "Businessman," offered another. But most answers carried a derisive sting: "TV pitchman," "actor," "salesman."The New York Times reports:
The deeper problem Romney appears to face became evident, however, when Hart posed questions designed to get beyond the traditional "political" attributes and reach more personal connections.
If the candidate were a member of your family, who would he be, Hart asked. Gingrich came first, drawing comparisons to a grandfather, a father, a favorite uncle.
Then came Romney's turn and far more distant associations: "neighbor," "cousin" "twice removed." "Richer than the rest of us, so he wouldn't come to our events," said Christine, 38. "The dad who's never home," added Chris, 27, and the group's chief supporter of Ron Paul.
Mr. Romney, a former chairman of the Republican Governors Association, has struggled to win widespread endorsements from the party establishment. He is courting Gov. Nikki R. Haley of South Carolina, who said she will choose a candidate this month. He has intensified campaign efforts to send a signal that he is fighting for the nomination, including kicking off a new volunteer drive this weekend called Earn It With Mitt.
Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, which is among the critical battleground states in the general election, said that “short of a major scandal” he believes Mr. Romney would be the nominee because of his fluency on economic issues. But he said Mr. Romney’s support might grow if he spoke more conversationally.
“Mitt has a 59-point economic plan. I’d like to see that boiled down,” Mr. Walker said. “Not that he should get rid of it, but boil it done to three or five core things, because politically it’s more understandable, and it’s also easier to hold people accountable.”