To move the polls, Romney has to go positive

So voters are at Step 2 of the referendum model. They are evaluating Romney. In this situation, the Republicans are doing the exact wrong thing by making 90 percent of their ads attacks on Obama. Although voters always say this but rarely mean it, they really do want Romney to go positive. They are interested in learning about his accomplishments (or lack thereof), especially during his term as governor.

While the Obama camp has been trying to give voters what they want, albeit from a negative perspective (and perhaps part of why Obama hasn’t moved the polls with his blitz is that those voters who are interested in Bain and Romney’s taxes are waiting to hear Romney’s side of the story), the Romney camp and his super PAC supporters have been banging their collective heads against a wall essentially trying to re-convince voters that the president is not doing a good job. Simply put, this won’t do it.

It is a real question whether the Romney campaign gets this. Throughout the primary process, it focused relentlessly on tearing down its opponents. Thus far, it has done the same in the general election. Maybe Romney doesn’t have that much of a record of accomplishment as governor, outside of the radioactive health care law. Or maybe the campaign simply isn’t capable of telling a compelling, positive story about the nominee.