The Washington Post reported this morning, "Even as he runs evenly with Barack Obama in national polls, Mitt Romney -- the newly official Republican presidential nominee -- continues to trail the president in one regard: basic popularity."
I put the latest Post/ABC favorability ratings in a chart.
Maddow Blog chart based on Post/ABC data
Obviously, President Obama's numbers aren't exactly soaring, but Romney isn't just trailing; he's faltering. Ten weeks before Election Day, his unfavorability rating has reached a new high of 51%, while his 35% favorability score has dipped to its lowest level since the spring.
No major-party candidate in a generation has entered the final stretch of a national campaign with this problem.
As we've discussed before, this offers reason for some optimism among Democrats, but it comes with caveats. If the American mainstream is deeply dissatisfied with the status quo and blames the president, even if he doesn't deserve it, voters may very well hold their nose and elect the guy they dislike.
But the fact that people don't seem to care for Romney makes his task inherently more difficult.