Worth Discussing

Does Obama's "likeability' factor matter?

Stephanie Condon | CBS News | April 26, 2012
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(CBS News) If President Obama has any advantage heading into the general election, it's that people like him more than Mitt Romney.

The polls show that voters view the president more favorably than Romney and find him more relatable. The president has played up that positive image, squeezing in a "slow jamming the news" segment and other fun appearances between speeches on student loans.



The president's likability factor could be a problem for Romney and the Republican party if voters like him enough to look past their disappointments in his performance. A series of focus groups conducted by the Republican polling firm Resurgent Republic illustrated that issue. One of the main points to come out of the focus groups, the firm said today, was that independent voters who backed Mr. Obama in 2008 but are currently undecided still feel personally invested in the president.



"They want President Obama to succeed. They still have personal admiration for him," GOP pollster Whit Ayres said. "Most of the phrases they used [in the focus groups] revolved around personal characteristics, [like] 'he's a great father.'"



But if Mr. Obama's likability factor is a problem for the GOP, it is one that's not that hard to overcome, Republicans say. For one thing, the pollsters at Resurgent Republic point out, Mr. Obama will have to defend his personal appeal from here on out, now that the general election is underway.



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Filed under: President Obama, Obama Approval Rating, and 2012 Election