In each of the last five presidential elections, the candidate whose basic favorable rating was higher won the election each time.That was in an article where they were reporting these results from a recent poll.
But it gets even more interesting if you break it down by party affiliation. Check out the Independents.
On just the issue of whether voters have a favorable/unfavorable view of the candidates, TPM poll averages has Obama at +5.9 (favorable 50.3% and unfavorable 44.4%) while Romney is in negative territory at -6.3 (favorable 39.8% and unfavorable 46.1%).
If Gallup's statement about history holds up this year, Romney will have to find a way to turn those numbers around in order to have a shot at this. That's the uphill battle I have a hard time envisioning. I'm not saying its impossible. But as I've said before, I'm pretty confident he can't do it on his own...he'll need a game-changer and the political skills to exploit it.