Voters Pre-Disappointed In Mitt Romney

As Jamelle noted, a new Washington Post/ABC News poll reinforces what other polls have shown, that folks haven't really taken a cotton to Mitt Romney. Most worrying for him is that only 35 percent of independent voters view him favorably. The good news for him is that voters, having already been disappointed with him, won't go through that inevitable period of a presidency in which your unreasonably high hopes are dashed and you turn against the president.

The creation of those unreasonable hopes requires two things: an inspiring individual and an inspiring story. Sometimes "change" is enough of an inspiring story, but without the inspiring individual, change doesn't sound poetic and glorious. And all along, Romney has presented himself primarily as an effective manager, which might be what you need, but it won't make your heart go all aflutter.

Nevertheless, the Post has also managed to find a few people who are nuts for the Mittster:

These are the sasquatches of American politics: rumored, hoped-for, so elusive that they can seem imaginary.

They are Mitt Romney's superfans.

To be clear: These "Romniacs" are not Wall Street bigwigs or paid campaign operatives. Many of them, but not all, are Mormons like Romney. What unites them is a powerful — and unusual — excitement for a candidate who struggles to excite anybody else.

The good news for Romney is that they exist, these people who call him a "geek," and "Ward Cleaver," and love him deeply for it.

The bad news is that there doesn't appear to be that many of them — a small, eclectic scattering in a nation with 137 million registered voters.

The paucity of these people doesn't in and of itself mean it's impossible for Romney to win. George H.W. Bush didn't have many superfans, and he got elected. But Romney will need the right combination of events—like a dramatic downturn in the economy, combined with some Obama administration scandals—to make the general election public respond to him with, "Oh, all right, I guess," which is how the Republican electorate is feeling about him right now.

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