The conventional wisdom that Mitt Romney will win the New Hampshire primary ignores a key point, writes Ana Marie Cox. Granite State voters haven’t fallen in love.
[V]oters’ familiarity with his name has failed to make him especially loved: of the announced presidential candidates, Romney has the highest name recognition but lowest “positive intensity” score, as tracked by Gallup. Mitt Romney belongs to a select group of politicians that fails to excite the emotions of the population either direction….
There is a name for this set of candidates: losers. Pundits’ predictions that Romney’s New England ties — he owns a summer home in New Hampshire in addition to having served in neighbouring Massachusetts — will clinch him the New Hampshire primary seem to gloss over the failure of those ties to make much of a difference in 2008. New Hampshire voters knew Mitt Romney then, and refused to vote for him.