Romney’s absence from the campaign trail, several pollsters and political operatives said, is no comment on Brown. Rather, it’s a reflection of Romney’s diminished political standing in Massachusetts, where he held the governor’s mansion for one term before leaving to seek the White House.

“There’s no added advantage in having Romney with Brown, and there’s potentially some disadvantage,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston. “I don’t think there’s an upside here at all.”…

Romney’s White House run, said Jeffrey Berry, a Tufts University political scientist, left a sour taste in the mouths of state voters.

“Mitt Romney is an unpopular former governor. He left the state to run for president and people feel he was insincere when he ran for governor in the first place,” said Berry. “He hasn’t really been a part of Massachusetts political culture since he left office. I think people thought he ran for office merely to run for president.”