Obama vs. Romney: Now that Rick Santorum is out of the race, clearing a path for Mitt Romney, the general election campaign can officially begin. Of course, Mitt Romney’s been hitting President Obama for years, and in recent days, the president has begun returning fire. But this is it – Obama and Romney – for the next seven months. Last night, the president said the election would present the biggest contrast since Johnson vs. Goldwater in 1964. That may be wishful thinking – Johnson went on to win 44 states and 61% of the vote. But the fundamental contrast between rewarding the wealthy and fairness for all will underscore this campaign. And Team Obama knows Romney embodies everything they’re fighting against.
Yesterday’s breaking news (Santorum’s exit, George Zimmerman’s attorneys quitting the case) prevented us from looking at what might be the most important number of this campaign: Mitt Romney’s likability gap. By a two-to-one margin, people say they just like President Obama more than Romney. The popular candidate usually wins, so what does Romney need to do to change the game?