President Barack Obama is a campaign messaging guru, while Mitt Romney is struggling to find a theme that works, according to a new poll Wednesday that used methods for measuring the effectiveness of corporate branding and applied them to political candidates.
Pollsters from the Democratic firm of Penn Schoen Berland said there were several striking findings in their survey — for one, Obama is successfully making the election a referendum on Republicans, while Romney’s attempt to make the race a referendum on the last four years is falling flat with voters. And the Republican hopeful had only one theme that was breaking through with independent voters – his attacks on Obama’s handling of violence in the Middle East, the survey showed.
Of the 24 messages tested — 12 quotes by each candidate from their respective convention addresses and subsequent stump speeches — the top eight were all from Obama.
Obama’s highest scoring message was his line at the Democratic National Convention last month telling voters they should not choose Romney and Republican policies because “we have been there, we’ve tried that, and we’re not going back.”